Egypt is at the crossroads after the removal of the only elected Egyptian president in their history - Mohammed Mursi. He was overthrown by a military coup led by General Abdel Fattah el-Sisi. That was a period of intense unrest in Egypt as thousands of Egyptians protested at the growing power of the Muslim brotherhood as it set about establishing a theocratic Muslim state. Mursi was a member of the Brotherhood. When the army removed Mursi his supporters went berserk and started a violent agitation against his removal. This led to widespread riots. The army arrested 141 persons who were put on trial. Now the Egyptian court has sentenced 95 of them to prison terms up to 15 years.

These sentences have been passed in absentia as the accused have fled. 42 of those present in court were awarded 7 years in jail while another 3 were given a 5-year jail term. The court also fined the accused present in court 20000 Egyptian pounds. The news is reported by Reuters.

General Sisi

The army under General Sisi is cracking down on dissent and the Muslim brotherhood is banned. President Mursi is sentenced to death with tens of others on death row. However, till date, no one has as yet been executed. The trials and sentences are passed by military courts and human rights activists have pointed out that the principle of natural justice is not being followed in Egyptian courts. The government has countered this by asserting that Egyptian courts are independent and the law is followed in letter and spirit.

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Islamic violence

Egypt is beset by Islamic terrorism and this has led to extreme violence. ISIS is also active in the Sinai and they had a few months back sunk an Egyptian navy armed boat with a missile fired from Sinai. The Brotherhood is closely entwined with ISIS. As per Egyptian authorities, the recent bombing of a Coptic church is the handiwork of the Brotherhood. 25 people died in the blast that took place on Sunday.

US dilemma

The US is on the horns of a dilemma.They had under Obama supported democracy in Egypt and in the so-called " Arab spring," Hosni Mubarak was overthrown. Democracy never came as Mohammed Mursi set about establishing a government with a clear Islamic agenda leading to he being overthrown and sentenced to death.The Muslim brotherhood is now banned.