There was chaos outside an Egyptian court yesterday as a judge sentenced 683 Muslim Brotherhood supporters, including movement leader Mohammed Badie, to death.
The sentence, delivered ahead of next month’s election, marks a significant crackdown on the organisation.
Badie and his supporters were charged with encouraging violence after President Mohamed Mursi was overthrown by the army in July of last year.
The United Nations and United States have expressed concern over the ruling, which the Brotherhood described as “chilling.”
The court, presided over by judge Said Youssef Sabry, last month sparked outcry by sentencing 529 people to death, but reversed 492 of those sentences to life in prison on Monday.
Relatives outside the court yesterday reacted by fainting or chanting “Where is the justice?”
The judge will confirm the latest verdict on June 21.
The tough sentence comes as three Al Jazeera journalists, including Australian Peter Greste, continue to fight for freedom after being accused of having links to the Muslim Brotherhood.
Greste and his colleagues are currently still incarcerated in a Cairo prison.