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Death sentences confirmed for Port Said football rioters

Twenty-one football rioters sentenced to death in Port Said case, amid widespread controversy over verdict in Egypt.

Egypt parliamentary elections suspended police on strikeEnlarge
Egyptian military police men speak to protestors in the Egyptian city of Port Said on March 6, 2013 following clashes between police and protesters. Police and protesters lobbed rocks at each other under a volley of tear gas that caused several people to collapse. (-/AFP/Getty Images)

Twenty-one participants in the deadly Port Said football riots death sentences have been upheld, an Egyptian court ruled on March 9th, while five defendants have received life sentences in the controversial case.

Al Jazeera writes that at a judge confirmed the sentences and read out the names of the condemned, noting that the sentenced will be hanged to death. Twenty-eight people were acquitted.

Read more from GlobalPost: Police and protesters clash for third day in Egypt's Port Said

The Egyptian military is currently patrolling Port Said, wrote the BBC, while thousands of low-ranking police have gone on strike in 10 of Egypt's 29 provinces, after being told to fight back against protesters.

The BBC added that Essam Eddin Samak, the Port Said stadium's security chief, received a 15-year-long sentence in the case.

Al Jazeera notes that at least eight have been killed in the Port Said violence this week, including three police officers.

Police and protesters clashed last week in Port Said over the football deaths controversy, prompting Egyptian president Mohammed Morsi to consider calling in military replacements for local police forces.

Earlier in March, thousands of Egyptians marched to protest the death sentences doled out over the 2011 football riots, which killed 70 people from both crowd crush and fighting.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/middle-east/egypt/130309/death-sentences-confirmed-port-said-football-rioters