Founder of Egyptian Popular Current, presidential candidate Hamdeen Sabahi speaks during a news conference in Cairo December 23, 2012 (Photo: Reuters)
Presidential hopeful Hamdeen Sabahi has demanded the release from prison of activists who played key roles in the January 2011 uprising.
Egypt cannot detain those who revolted, while the corrupt and murderers are free, Sabahi said via Twitter.
Interim President Adly Mansour should grant them an immediate pardon, he added.
Sabahi's comments came hours after an appeal court upheld a three-year sentence and a LE50,000 fine against activists Ahmed Maher, Mohamed Adel and Ahmed Doma, rejecting their appeals.
The long-time activists were found guilty of assaulting police officers during a demonstration outside a Cairo court where Maher was handing himself in for questioning over allegations pertaining to an unauthorised protest.
The passing of the protest law on 24 November -- shortly after a three-month state of emergency, in place since the July ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi, was lifted -- is viewed by rights activists as an alternative tool for cracking down on public dissent.
It requires protest organisers to seek authorisation three days ahead of any planned demonstration. Protests can be banned if deemed a threat to national security.