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Egyptian Human Rights Activist Gets 15-Month Prison Term

  • VOA News

FILE - Mahinour el-Masry, an Egyptian activist, takes notes during a trial session of activists facing charges on organizing unauthorized protests, at a courtroom in Cairo, Egypt, Dec. 4, 2014..

FILE - Mahinour el-Masry, an Egyptian activist, takes notes during a trial session of activists facing charges on organizing unauthorized protests, at a courtroom in Cairo, Egypt, Dec. 4, 2014..

An Egyptian appeals court Sunday sentenced well-known lawyer and human rights activist Mahinour el-Masry and two others to 15 months in prison on charges of attacking a police station.

El-Masry shouted "Down with the military" when the verdict was read in Alexandria. She and her co-defendants originally were given two-year jail terms. They appealed and lost, but were given reduced sentences.

El-Masry went to an Alexandria police station in 2013 to check on a fellow lawyer who had been arrested. Officers accused her and co-defendants of trying to storm the building and attack officers.

Supporters outside the Alexandria courtroom denounced the verdict as political. The wife of co-defendant and journalist Youssef Shaaban said she expected the guilty verdict because she said the Egyptian government has not changed.

"What used to happen during the [Muslim] Brotherhood is happening under [President Abdel Fattah el-] Sissi and even more and more horrifying. The number of detainees is larger and we aren't surprised by this and aren't even waiting for any type of justice because this has become normal. All the time there are unfair charges."

Also Sunday, Egypt's government-sanctioned National Council for Human Rights said violence in the 18 months after the overthrow of President Mohamed Morsi killed about 2,600 people including police and civilians.

The military toppled Morsi, Egypt's first freely elected civilian president, in July 2013. Marches led by his pro-Muslim Brotherhood movement frequently turned violent, including a police raid on two pro-Morsi tent camps in Cairo that killed hundreds.

Sissi, the former military chief who led the overthrow of President Morsi, succeeded him and interim President Adly Mansour last year.

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