Twenty-nine supporters of ousted president Mohamed Morsi were sentenced Tuesday to five years in prison and fined EGP 100,000 each for organising unauthorised protests in December.
The Nasr City court also found the 29 defendants guilty of rioting, belonging to a terrorist organisation, and destroying public and private property, according to state-run Al-Ahram.
Aswat Masriya added that one other defendant was sentenced to one year and fined EGP 5,000.
The defendants were arrested in Nasr City shortly after interim President Adly Mansour signed a Protest Law which forced protest organisers to submit plans for marches to the Ministry of Interior three days in advance of the scheduled march.
Numerous non-governmental organisations have released statements condemning the protest law.
“Jailing government critics on trumped-up charges or for breaching the repressive Protest Law is part of the authorities’ ploy to silence dissenting voices and tighten their grip on the country,” said Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, Middle East and North Africa Deputy Director Amnesty International.
Recently, a number of high-profile activists have been jailed for breaking the law. Prominent 6 April Youth members Ahmed Maher, Ahmed Douma and Mohamed Adel were recently sentenced to three years with hard labour for taking part in an unregistered march.
“It is a depressing sign that in Egypt, where in 2011 mass protests were the driving force for change, prominent activists are now being thrown behind bars merely for taking part in demonstrations,” said Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui.