(AP File Photo)
(AP File Photo)

In an unprecedented move by Egypt's judiciary, 529 people have been sentenced to death in the south of the country.

FOX News Radio's Kimberly Adams reports from Cairo:

After just two court sessions, a judge in the southern Egyptian city of Minya issued the verdict and sentences.

The convicted are reportedly supporters of deposed President Mohamed Morsi, accused of involvement in the death of a police officer during riots after Morsi's ouster last summer.

Karim Ennahar of the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights says the death sentences are unlikely to withstand appeal, but represent a clear message from the courts.

(Ennahar) "We're seeing a lot of sentences like that, that are mostly intended to terrorize political opposition and specifically supporters of ousted President Morsi."

16 people were acquitted in the case, and most of those convicted were tried in absentia.

In Cairo, Kimberly Adams, Fox News Radio.

Editor's Note: Lawyers say they will appeal, and any death sentence must also be approved by Egyptian religious authorities.