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Egypt appeals court reduces sentence on workers jailed for illegal protest

El-Sayed Gamal El-Din , Sunday 18 Jun 2017
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A Cairo misdemeanour appeals court reduced on Sunday a three-year prison sentence against 32 factory workers to two-months in prison on charges of illegal protest.

Earlier this month, 32 workers from Torah Portland Cement Company were handed prison sentences of three years after organising a 55-day sit-in that was dispersed by security forces in May.

The workers were protesting the company's decision to lay them off after 10 to 15 years of service, saying the company had failed to pay money owed to them, treating them as contractors rather than employees.

Egyptian law stipulates a minimum of two years in prison and a fine of EGP 50,000 for those found guilty of illegal assembly.

The misdemeanour appeals court’s verdict comes one day after the High Administrative Court ruled, in a labour dispute dating back to 2014, that peaceful strikes over work grievances are not a punishable offense, even in the absence of a legislation regulating the action.

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