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Jail terms, hefty fines for Egypt anniversary protesters

Twelve people, including minors, jailed for two years and fined LE50,000 for attending unauthorised protests, eight others receive hefty fines

Ayat Al-Tawy, Wednesday 5 Mar 2014
25 jan 3rd anniversary
Clashes between anti-government protesters and police in downtown Cairo, 25 January 2013 (Photo: Mai Shaheen)
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A Cairo court has jailed and imposed heavy fines on young people and minors accused of attending unauthorised protests on the revolution's third anniversary.

The defendants were arrested during protests against Mohamed Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood and the military that led to his ouster.

The court sentenced 12 people -- who had been detained since they were arrested -- to two years in jail and LE50,000 ($7,200) fines each, their lawyer Marwa Farouk told Ahram Online.

They can be released on bail of LE100,000 ($14,400), she added.

Eight defendants, tried in absentia, were levied with hefty fines. Three women, including prominent activist Nazly Hussein, were fined LE100,000 each, and five men received LE50,000 fines each.

Hussein is a founder of the No to Military Trials campaign. She also provides legal support for those detained during the revolution and runs campaigns to collect bail money for those who cannot afford it.

The defendants can appeal the ruling.

A law passed in November 2013 bans protests without prior police consent, a move that has sparked widespread concerns about freedom of speech in Egypt.

Dozens have since been sentenced to jail terms and hundreds of others, including leading activists of the 2011 revolt, have been detained.

The authorities have waged a sustained crackdown on Islamists since the ouster of president Mohamed Morsi in July 2013 after millions protested against his tumultuous year in office.

But the government's clampdown has recently expanded to include secular-minded activists in a broadening campaign to stifle dissent.

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