Egypt sentenced to death 75 people, including prominent Islamist leaders, on Saturday over a 2013 pro-Muslim Brotherhood sit-in which ended with the killing of hundreds of protesters by security forces.

Others being tried in the case, including Brotherhood spiritual leader Mohamed Badie, were handed life sentences, judicial sources said.

Those being sentenced are accused of security-related offences including incitement to violence, murder and organising illegal protests.

Rights groups have criticised the mass trial of more than 700 people in what has become known as the Rabaa case, after Rabaa Adawiya square where the sit-in took place in Cairo.

Those sentenced to death by hanging include senior Brotherhood leaders Essam al-Erian and Mohamed Beltagi and prominent Islamist preacher Safwat Higazi, the sources said.