Egypt court frees 68 activists in rare move

Reuters News
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Posted: Mar 31, 2015 8:53 AM

CAIRO (Reuters) - In an unusual move, an Egyptian court acquitted on Tuesday 68 people, including members of the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood, who were charged with gathering illegally and attacking security forces, judicial sources said.

Authorities have cracked down hard on the Islamist movement since the army removed it from power in 2013 following mass protests against its rule.

Security forces killed hundreds at protest camps and thousands were arrested. They also jailed high-profile secular activists, drawing fire from human rights groups.

The court fined each of the 68 people 50,000 Egyptian pounds ($6,553) on separate charges of protesting without a permit on the Jan 25 anniversary of the 2011 uprising that toppled autocrat Hosni Mubarak.

(Reporting by Yara Bayoumy; Editing by Michael Georgy, Larry King)