CAIRO (AA) – An Egyptian court on Wednesday convicted 16 student supporters of ousted president Mohamed Morsi of rioting, a judicial source has said.
According to the source, the court found the students – ten males and six females – guilty of rioting at Al-Azhar University in eastern Cairo in January.
Meanwhile, Egypt’s prosecutor-general ordered the release of 116 students and minors arrested earlier on charges of taking part in illegal protests in order to “preserve their academic future.”
The prosecutor-general did not, however, state the political affiliations of the released students or the cases they were involved in, merely saying the decision had been made on the occasion of the start of the new school year, which will begin within days.
Throughout the previous academic year, which began two months after the ouster and imprisonment of elected president Mohamed Morsi, many Egyptian universities became epicenters of protest against the “military coup.”
A number of pro-Morsi student demonstrations turned into deadly confrontations with security forces.
Over the course of the last year, numerous students have been thrown in jail for participating in demonstrations, while university administrations have expelled many others or barred them from sitting for final exams.
Morsi himself currently faces four separate trials in which he faces multiple criminal charges, including espionage, jailbreak and “offending the judiciary.”
Former army chief Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi, widely seen as the architect of Morsi’s ouster, was declared winner of a presidential poll conducted in May.
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