The hunger-striking family of leading Egyptian activist Alaa Abdel-Fattah has begun a sit-in at the High Court in central Cairo to protest his detention and a jail sentence against his sister, a family member has said.
An Egyptian court on Monday detained Abdel-Fattah, a key figure in the 2011 revolt that toppled autocrat Hosni Mubarak, and 20 other co-defendants pending a retrial on charges of taking part in an illegal protest.
He and his co-defendants were released on bail in September after the first judge recused himself in a case in which he was hit with a 15-year jail sentence
Abdel-Fattah's sister, Sanaa Seif, and 22 other defendants were sentenced on Sunday to three years in jail by another court on similar charges of breaching the protest law, which bans all but police sanctioned protests.
The activist's other sister, Mona, said she and their mother Laila Soueif have filed a report with the country's prosecutor-general over their hunger strike and the sit-in at the Supreme Court.
"We filed a report with the public prosecutor yesterday notifying him of escalating our hunger strike to a complete [abstention] from food and drink in protest at the judiciary's injustice after sentencing Sanaa and jailing Alaa," Mona said Wednesday on Facebook.
Soueif and Seif have been on a partial hunger strike since early september, only drinking anti-dehydration fluids.
Photos circulating on social media on Wednesday showed the duo sitting on the floor of the courthouse's foyer with posters of imprisoned family members and other fellow detainees.