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Egypt gives Life Sentences to 2 Muslim ‘Brotherhood’ Supporters for 2013 Riot in Cairo

Defendants tried on charges including murder, assault, joining an armed gang, resisting arrest, damaging public and private property, and possession of firearms

Muslim Brotherhood in a a rally against the President Mursi. wikimedia commons

EGYPT, October 29, 2016: Two Muslim Brotherhood supporters were given life imprisonment today, by an Egyptian court and 16 others sent to 15 years in jail in charge of a violent assault on a Cairo neighborhood in 2013 after the ouster of former president Mohamed Mursi.

This attack was a part of a wave of terror and violence that has swept across the entire Egypt after the army removed the elected Islamist president Mursi from this throne in July 2013, which left seven dead.

The president was removed after the continuing mass protests against his rule, mentioned Reuters.

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Since the President has been deposed, the authorities held mass trials for the Muslim Brotherhood supporters, which led to hundreds being sentenced to death or to serve lengthy prison terms. Even Mursi himself has been sentenced after his ouster, in four cases which included a Death Penalty for his mass jail break in 2011, mentioned Reuters.

[bctt tweet=”Brotherhood is the oldest opposition movement which started decades ago but still it remains committed to peaceful activism. ” username=””]

The 104 defendants were dubbed by the local media as the “Boulaq Abou al-Ela case” in Saturday’s case, a part of a pro-Brotherhood march which was held two days later after the sit-in who were supporting the group was dispersed violently, leaving hundreds dead.

Murder, assault, joining an armed gang, resisting arrest, damaging public, and private property, and possession of firearms were some of the charges on which the defendants were tried.

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The sources also added that 86 of the total defendants were innocent and the government deems “Brotherhood” as a terrorist group.

Brotherhood is the oldest opposition movement which started decades ago but still it remains committed to peaceful activism. All the mass trials leading to death penalties and life imprisonment have drawn criticism from activists and right groups at home and abroad.

The Egyptian government says that the judiciary is independent and the government never intervenes with its work.

– prepared by Chesta Ahuja, NewsGram.  Twitter: @ahuja_chesta


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Water-Borne Illness Increases Sharply in Iraq

Iraq's individual provinces have been fighting for water, amid a general shortage.

Water crisis
A girl drinks water in the street outside her tent at a camp for internally displaced people in western Baghdad, Iraq. VOA

Iraqi health officials say that a health crisis stemming from water pollution and a shortage of clean drinking water has worsened in recent days, as hospitals in the southern port city of Basra treat more than 1,000 cases of intestinal infections on a daily basis. The problem was exacerbated several months ago when Turkey cut back on water distributed to the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers.

A crowd of young men took to the streets on in the southern port city of Basra Tuesday, demanding the central government and Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi increase the quantity of clean drinking water allotted to their province, otherwise it’ll lead to a health crisis. Abadi vowed to increase spending on infrastructure for the province during a visit to Basra in July.

A young man, whose friend was killed during a rally several weeks ago, broke down and sobbed over the protesters’ inability to force Iraqi leaders to improve the condition of public services in Basra, especially the region’s worn-out water infrastructure and insufficient quantities of drinking water allotted by the central government.

Some health officials in Basra warn that a cholera outbreak is possible due to water pollution and water-borne parasites that have made thousands of people sick in recent days. The director general of the Basra Health department, Riad Abdul Amir, told Al Hurra TV the situation continues to worsen.

He says more than 17,500 cases of intestinal ailments, resulting from contaminated drinking water, have been treated by Basra hospitals during the past two weeks, alone.


egypt. health crisis
The water network in Basra hasn’t been updated in at least 30 years. Pixabay


Abdul Amir says the problem stems from insufficient fresh water supplies coming into the city via canals and water pipes from the north.

“Salty water [which has infiltrated the water network],” he asserts, “is known to reduce the efficacy of chlorine used to treat and kill bacteria in drinking water,” he said.

Safaa Kazem, a docotor who has been treating dozens of cases of intestinal problems and diarrhea in Basra’s Sadr Teaching Hospital each day, says water from the city’s supply is not safe to drink.

She says the degree of water sterilization is minimal and that Basra’s water is very salty and has an extremely high level of microbes in it, along with a high degree of chemical pollution.

Basra Governor Assad al Edani told Al Hurra TV that his province has been suffering from numerous infrastructure problems for a long time.

He says the water network in Basra hasn’t been updated in at least 30 years and the old pipes often break, mixing drinking water with sewage.

water, health crisis
The degree of water sterilization is minimal. VOA

Edani says “not enough fresh water is arriving via the region’s only canal from Thi Qar province to the north.” He thinks a “strong current of fresh water will flush out salty water seeping into the water network from the sea.”

Also Read: Iraq Lifts Ban On International Flights to Kurdish Airports

Edani adds that the population of Basra has “more than doubled since the water network was last updated in the early 1990s.”

Iraq’s individual provinces have been fighting for water, amid a general shortage, since Turkey in early June severely curtailed the number of cubic meters of water it funnels into both the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. (VOA)