An Egyptian court on Monday recommended the death penalty as punishment for 683 members and supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood, including the organization’s “Supreme Guide” Mohamed Badie, as the country continues its draconian crackdown on the former ruling party.
The defendants had been charged with the murder or attempted murder of police officers during political disturbances last August. Their sentences will now be forwarded to Egypt’s highest religious authority, the Mufti, for vetting. However, the courts are not obliged to abide by his opinion on the sentences, according to Reuters.
On Monday, the court also confirmed death sentences given to 37 Brotherhood supporters, who were among 529 given capital punishment recommendations last month. Sentences on the other 492 have been commuted to life imprisonment.
The respective trials have been the biggest in Egypt’s history and are part of a vicious suppression the Brotherhood after a coup last year ousted President and Muslim Brotherhood member Mohamed Morsi from office.