The Cairo Criminal Court sentenced a group of activists who demonstrated in June against the Protest Law outside the Presidential Palace to three years imprisonment and a EGP 10,000 fine.
The 22 defendants are facing counts of violating the Protest Law and the use of violence with the aim of terrorising citizens, and have been detained since June.
“They should have been released from the very first day,” said the defendants’ lawyer Mohamed Mahmoud, who also works for the Arab Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI).
“The imprisonment is illegal because the prosecution did not direct any charges against them,” he added.
Several political parties and movements were involved in the protest, including the Revolutionary Socialists, Misr Al-Qawia and Al-Dostour Party.
Among the defendants are Sanaa Seif, who is the sister of renowned activist Alaa Abdel Fattah and Mona Seif, a member of the No to Military Trials group. Both sisters and their mother started a hunger strike on 28 August.
The Protest Law’s issuance by the interim government in November 2013 came at a time of frequent clashes between Muslim Brotherhood supporters and security forces. Since the law was enacted, it has been used to build several cases against students and activists on charges of “illegal assembly”.