It’s sort of like a class-action lawsuit, but in reverse.
The Egyptian military junta, ever eager to find embarrassing new ways to use the legal system against dissidents, has announced that 504 detained supporters of the ousted elected government have been referred to the Cairo courts for a “mass tribunal.”
One trial, 504 people, and myriad charges. The 504 are all facing charges of “violence” for taking part in August 16 protests against the military’s summer takeover of the country.
Junta security forces massacred over 800 protesters in a three-day period around August 16, and in the aftermath sought to charge protest organizers with those deaths, reasoning that if people hadn’t protested the troops wouldn’t have shot them all.
Since then, the junta banned the former ruling party, and later declared them a “terrorist organization,” so many of the detainees will be facing charges of material support for terrorism for their criticism of the military takeover as well.