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Egypt court upholds sentences of revolution activists

[JURIST] An Egyptian court of appeals on Monday upheld the jailing of three men who co-founded the April 6 opposition movement which played a large role in the country's 2011 revolution. The ruling has been described as part of a crackdown [Reuters report] on those opposed to the military-backed government, and critics have called it an attempt to stifle the street activism that has become common since the ousting of former president Hosni Mubarak [JURIST news archive] in 2011. Sentences for the three activists, Ahmed Maher, Ahmed Douma and Mohamed Adel, for protesting without permission and assaulting the police were handed down by a court last December. The verdict was the first under a controversial anti-protest law [Al Jazeera report] requiring police permission for public demonstrations. Though the men have one more chance to appeal to a higher court, analysts do not foresee the verdict being overturned. One of the defense lawyers, Ahmed Seif al-Islam, has said that he plans to challenge the ruling, and that if it cannot be overturned he will take the case to the African Court on Human and People's rights [official website].

Political conflict in Egypt has been ongoing since the 2011 revolution [JURIST backgrounder] that ousted Mubarak from power. Conflict has recently occurred between supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood and the former government of Mohammed Morsi, and supporters of the new government in place since his ouster in July, especially since the organization's formal ban [JURIST reports] in September. The UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) voiced concern [JURIST report] about human rights violations in Egypt in November 2011, specifically with respect to the military trial and jailing of a blogger/activist Abdel Fatah. A Cairo court ordered the release [JURIST report] on bail of the blogger in March.

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