Source: Twitter/CNN

This week, an Egyptian military court sentenced 17 individuals to death over their involvement in the Coptic Christian church attacks in recent years.

The sentences were handed out to individuals involved in the 2016 and 2017 bombings in Egypt.

In addition, 19 other people were handed prison terms for life and 10 others were sentenced to 10 to 15 years for their involvement in the attacks. All sentences are subject to appeal.

Human rights group Amnesty International called the death sentences "grossly unfair" in a statement titled "Mass death sentences will not deliver justice for victims of church bombings."

"There is no doubt that the perpetrators of these horrific attacks should be held accountable for their crimes," said Najia Bounaim, Amnesty's director for North Africa, in a statement.

"But handing out a mass death sentence after an unfair military trial is not justice and will not deter further sectarian attacks," it added.

Since the toppling of Hosni Mubarak's regime in 2011, Egypt's Christians have been enduring an alarming uptick in terrorist attacks committed against them by Islamist militants.

In 2011, an attack on the Two Saints Church in Alexandria claimed the lives of 23 people.

However, the recent sentences were associated with the bombings of 2016 and 2017.

In 2016, a 12 kilogram bomb blasted through Cairo's main Coptic house of worship, killing at least 25 people and injuring more than 40 others.

Coptic Christians make up about 10 percent of Egypt's population. The tragic attack on the Saint Mark's Coptic Orthodox Cathedral is "like an attack on the Vatican," a CNN correspondent noted.  

In 2017, on the occasion of the Christian holiday of Palm Sunday, two Coptic churches were attacked in Egypt, one in Alexandria and one in Tanta, leaving at least 49 dead and hundreds of others wounded.

The so-called Islamic State (Daesh) claimed responsibility for the attacks.