Seventeen supporters of the banned Muslim Brotherhood were on Wednesday sentenced to life by a court in Cairo for rioting during a protest against the ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi last year, taking the number of people jailed in similar cases to 27 in less than a week.
The Cairo Criminal Court sentenced them in absentia on charges of rioting in Cairo's El-Manial district which resulted in the deaths of five people. One person was sentenced to 15 years in prison in the same case.
Since the ouster of Morsi, Egypt's first elected president, his group and loyalists have faced a state crackdown. Thousands are currently in prison and hundreds have been killed in clashes with security. State authorities accuse the group of waging militant attacks across the country.
More than 1,000 people have been killed and 16,000 detained in a crackdown by the authorities on Morsi's supporters. Last week, an Egyptian court criminal court sentenced 10 members of the Muslim Brotherhood to life imprisonment.
The defendants were accused of protesting without official permission, damaging public property, attacking residents and blocking roads during a protest in September last year.
Last month, an Egyptian court sentenced Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohamed Badie and 36 others to life in prison, and confirmed death sentences for 10 others. Badie, convicted of involvement in deadly protests, had already received death sentences in two other cases.
Morsi is also in prison over charges of killing peaceful protesters, espionage, escaping from prison during the January 25 Revolution in 2011, and insulting the jurisdiction. So far he has not been sentenced in any case.