Egypt sentences 65 Muslim Brotherhood members to jail for incitement

Forty-four people were sentences to 10 years in prison, and the rest received a two-year sentence

FILE - In this Wednesday, April 13, 2016 file photo, a boy stands at the main entrance of the original Muslim Brotherhood office, that is sealed with official wax after it was raided and shut down by police, in Amman, Jordan. Egyptian security officials say police have arrested a senior Islamist politician over allegations that he had contacts with the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood. They say Abdel-Monaim Abu El-Fetouh was arrested at his home in a Cairo suburb Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2018 soon after his return from a trip to London. (AP Photo/Raad Adayleh, file)

Sixty-five members of the banned Muslim Brotherhood were sentenced to jail over incitement against the state, an Egyptian court ruled.

A court in the Nile Delta city of Zagazig sentenced 44 people to 10 years in prison, and the rest were sentenced to two years. Eight individuals were acquitted.

According to prosecutors, the group was caught with inflammatory leaflets opposing the army and state institutions, and called for violence.

Read more: Egypt arrests former Brotherhood member for ties to banned group

Egypt, under president Abdel Fattah El Sisi, has launched its most rigorous sweeping crackdown on dissent in modern history. It has intensified ahead of the upcoming elections in March, when Mr El Sisi almost certain to win.

Earlier this month, Egyptian security forces arrested former Islamist presidential candidate Abdel Moneim Aboul Fatouh, 66, over his alleged links to the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood.

His detention follows the arrest on February 9 of Mohamed Al Qassas, deputy leader of Mr Aboul Fotouh’s Strong Egypt Party.