An Egyptian court Sunday sentenced 56 people to prison terms of between seven and 10 years over the deaths at sea of at least 202 migrants in September, judicial officials said.

The charges they faced included manslaughter, negligence, using a boat for unlicensed purposes and organising illegal immigration.

One person was acquitted in the trial, whose verdicts can be appealed, according to officials who requested anonymity because they were unauthorised to speak to reporters.

The boat sank off the Mediterranean port city of Rosetta on September 21.

Survivors said up to 450 migrants had been crowded aboard the fishing trawler when it keeled over, including an estimated 100 in its hold.

The Egyptian military said at the time that 163 people were rescued.

Most of those rescued were Egyptians but they also included migrants from Sudan, Eritrea, Syria and Ethiopia, according to the United Nations refugee agency UNHCR.

– By AFP