World Bulletin / News Desk
The U.S. said Monday it was deeply troubled by new three-to-five year prison sentences issued against Egyptian activists.
Abdel-Fattah, a leader of Egypt's 2011 uprising that led to the ouster of autocratic President Hosni Mubarak, was sentenced Sunday by a Cairo criminal court to five years at a maximum security prison for organizing an unauthorized protest under Egypt's demonstrations law.
Along with Fattah, 24 others also received jail terms of varying length for unauthorized demonstrations.
"We urge defendants to pursue all legal avenues to contest this verdict, including the right to appeal," said State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki during a press briefing.
She said the U.S. believes a country's long-term stability is strengthened by protecting the right of its citizens to peacefully express dissent.
"These sentences and others under the law have had a chilling effect on key freedoms of expression and assembly," she said.
Psaki encouraged Egypt's leadership to quickly complete its review of the demonstrations law and all court verdicts issued under it.
She also urged the release an amended version of the law that will enable full freedom of expression and association.
Last Mod: 23 Şubat 2015, 23:36