ALEXANDRIA, EGYPT —
A court in the Egyptian coastal city of Alexandria sentenced 14 female supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood on Wednesday (November 27) to 11 years and one month in prison on charges of inciting violence and damaging public property.
Seven other women, all under the age of 18, are set to serve sentences in juvenile detention. The court did not set the amount of time they will serve in the facility.
The charges relate to an October protest in Alexandria, where the women marched in the street under a movement called the “7am Movement”, calling for protesters to take to the streets in the morning before schools opened.
The 14 women seemed cheerful and in high spirits ahead of the jail sentence being announced on Wednesday, all dressed in white and smiling.
A man looks at bodies laid out in a make shift morgue after Egyptian security forces stormed two huge protest camps at the Rabaa al-Adawiya and Al-Nahda squares where supporters of ousted president Mohamed Morsi were camped, in Cairo, on August 14, 2013.
Hundreds of protesters were killed by police and army troops in the crackdown on protesters after the army ousted democratically-elected President Mohamed Morsi.
Egypt's military-installed interim government and its supporters regard the Brotherhood as a “terrorist group” and enemy of the state. The security forces and police, feared and despised under former president Hosni Mubarak, are lauded for cracking down on the organization.
Earlier this week, the country's interim President Adly Mansour also passed a law making it illegal to hold demonstrations without the approval of the police and banning protests in places of worship, a move rights groups condemned as a blow to political freedom.
But as the law was being announced by state media, thousands of anti-government protesters were on the streets in Cairo and other cities, as they have been regularly in the nearly three years since a popular uprising ousted autocrat Hosni Mubarak.
The number of protests and the scale of political violence have grown since July when the army removed Morsi following mass protests against his rule.