Egypt court cancels death sentences for tribal clashes

2017-05-06 09:00
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Cairo - An Egyptian appeals court overturned on Thursday death sentences for 25 people over deadly tribal clashes in the country's south and ordered a retrial, a judicial official said.

The men had been convicted of taking part in 2014 clashes in the southern Aswan province that killed 28 people, in some of the deadliest tribal violence in years.

The court of cassation which handles appeals also threw out 18 life sentences for defendants in custody, out of the 21 handed down in the first trial in 2016.

The remaining three defendants sentenced to life would have to turn themselves in for their appeal to be considered.

Tribal vendettas are common in Egypt's poor, rural south, but the clashes over two days in early April 2014 in Aswan were the deadliest in several years, according to the police.

Long-standing rivalry between the Bani Hilal, an Arab tribe, and the Dabudiya, a Nubian family, flared after a man from one tribe sexually harassed a woman from the other.

The two sides had sought to resolve tensions with a reconciliation meeting, but it degenerated into a firefight that killed three Bani Hilal members.

The following day, renewed clashes killed a further 25 people, prompting the army to intervene to stop the fighting.

Read more on:    egypt  |  north africa

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