Egypt courts order 21 women, girl protesters freed
Published Saturday 07/12/2013 (updated) 07/12/2013 20:30
The 14 women are seen during their trial in Alexandria on
Nov. 27, 2013 (AFP/File)
CAIRO (AFP) -- Egypt appeals courts on Saturday ordered 14 women jailed after a protest to be freed, reducing 11-year prison terms to one-year suspended sentences, as seven girls were also ordered released.
The women's supporters in the Alexandria courtroom chanted "God is great" as the judge pronounced the ruling.
The girls, who had initially been sentenced to juvenile detention, were ordered freed by a separate court but placed on three-month probation.
The 21 were all convicted last month of taking part in a protest demanding Islamist president Mohamed Morsi's reinstatement following his overthrow by the army in July.
More than 1,000 have been killed and more than 2,000 detained across Egypt in the crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood since Aug. 14, when police forcibly dispersed two protest camps in Cairo's Rabia al-Adawiya Square.
The protest camps had been set up in opposition to the July 3 coup by the Egyptian military, which overthrew democratically elected Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi following mass protests against his leadership.
Since then, Muslim Brotherhood activists have held weekly demonstrations in protest against the coup, while the army has consolidated its grip on power.
Last week Egyptian authorities issued a new law drastically restricting protests by demanding notice of any gathering of more than 10 people days in advance, as well details of location, aims, and demands.
Ma'an staff contributed to this report