Home / Transitional Justice Project / Court Case Spotlight
Security-Related Charges and Designations

Ansar al-Sharia Brigades Case

Court / Presiding Judge

Cairo Criminal Court/Judge Mohamed Shereen Fahmy

Procedural History

In August 2014, the prosecutor-general referred 23 alleged members of the Ansar al-Sharia Brigades to court for targeting police and military personnel. Since the court first began hearing the case, the case has been adjourned multiple times since.

Verdict

Case still pending.

Summary of Reasoning

The defendants face a number of charges including accusations of extremism, targeting Christians, stirring chaos, and violence against state institutions, killing a policeman, and injuring 11 others. According to investigations, the primary suspect, al-Sayyid al-Sayyid Ata Morsy, allegedly formed the terrorist group to spread extremist thoughts, carry out attacks on military and police personnel, and target Copts. The investigations also concluded that the suspect allegedly helped the group carry out several terrorist operations, ordered members to fight in Syria, trained others on making bombs, and provided them with shelters.

Anecdotal Notes

On October 22, 2015, the Cairo Criminal Court sentenced 18 of the 23 defendants to one year in prison for insulting the judiciary during one of the prior court sessions in the same case.

Legal & Judicial Implications

In the wake of the ratification of the 2015 Counter-terrorism Law, terrorism-related charges are heard by courts particularly designated to hear these cases. There is some concern that the concentration of all terrorist cases in the hands of a few justices may result in disproportionately harsh sentences.