Cairo Criminal Court’s 1st Circle for Terrorism has sentenced each of Abdel-Raouf Negm, Ashraf al-Sayed Abdu, Maher Gamil Abdel-Azim, Said Yehia Atris, Sobhi Rabie Abdel-Al, Hossam al-Sayed Mahmoud, and Ashraf Saad Hanafi to 15 years of high security imprisonment. They were handed the sentence for burning a church in Kafr Hakim in the Giza village of Kerdassa on 14 August 2013. The court ordered that the convicts be put under police surveillance for five years. Tareq Ibrahim Ahmed and Yasser Sami Ismail were acquitted.
The convicts had been previously handed life sentences in absentia. Once they were caught by the police, they stood trial before a new court.
The date 14 August 2013 had seen the Muslim Brothers (MB) go on a nationwide rampage in which they burned and plundered more than 100 churches and Christian establishments and homes in Egypt. The move came in retaliation to the disbanding by the government of two violent-oriented five-week-long MB sit-ins in the Cairo and Giza squares of Rabaa al-Adawiya and al-Nahda respectively. The sit-ins had in turn been waged to protest the overthrow of the MB regime that had ruled Egypt in the wake of the 2011 Arab Spring. On 30 June 2013, more than 30 million Egyptians took to the streets demanding that the army rids them of the MB rule, which the military did on 3 July 2013.
The prosecution had charged the convicts with being involved in burning Kafr Hakim church in Kerdassa, in tandem with the massacre of 11 policemen and police officers at Kerdassa police station. They were charged with joining a group established against the law and Constitution [MB]; acquisition of unlicensed firearms and ammunition; attempted murder; deliberately setting fire to a religious establishment; blocking a public road and hindering public traffic; and resisting authorities.
4 June 2020