Cairo, 5 March (AKI) - Ten men have been sentenced to death by hanging in Egypt, after being convicted of raping an 18 year-old woman two years ago.
The death sentence by hanging was handed down on Wednesday by a court in the northern governorate of Kafr el-Sheikh. Only eight of the sentenced men appeared before the court, while two others allegedly involved in the gang rape are still fugitives.
A 15-year-old youth who collaborated in the attack was sentenced to 15 years in jail. During the court proceedings, police were forced to intervene to stop protests by family members of the accused.
The court was told the ten men, who were all armed, raided a home in 2006 during the night and threatened all the family members.
After firing a few shots in the air, they kidnapped a woman and took her to an open field, where she was repeatedly raped for three hours until she lost consciousness.
Egyptian daily al-Ahram said the barbaric attack was aimed at punishing the woman's husband, who had reportedly refused to marry the sister of the group's leader.
The judge said that the court had chosen such a severe punishment because it learned about "the necessity to eradicate the roots of sin, and cleanse society."
The court's decision to impose the death sentence, however, will be sent to the Egyptian mufti who must then ratify it before it is carried out.
The last execution in Egypt took place in 2006. In December 2008 the Egypt's general assembly voted against a moratorium on the death penalty.