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Feb 18, 11:04 AM EST

Egypt sentences 65 Islamists to jail for incitement

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CAIRO (AP) -- An Egyptian court has sentenced 65 members of the banned Muslim Brotherhood group to jail over alleged incitement against the state.

The decision late Saturday by a court in the Nile Delta city of Zagazig also acquitted eight individuals. Prosecutors say the group was caught with inflammatory leaflets opposing the army and state institutions, and calling for violence. Of the group, 44 were sentenced to 10 years imprisonment, while the rest received two years.

Under President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, Egypt has waged its most sweeping crackdown on dissent in its modern history, a process that has intensified ahead of a March election in which el-Sissi faces no serious opposition.

Most recently, police arrested Abdel-Monaem Abul Fetouh, a senior Islamist leader, over his alleged links to the Brotherhood.

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