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Egypt activists imprisoned for wrecking memorial


In this file photo taken Sunday, Oct. 6, 2013, Egyptians chant pro-army slogans and hold posters of Egyptian Defense Minister Gen. Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi as they celebrate the 6th of October, 1973 war anniversary, in Tahrir Square, Cairo, Egypt. (AP)

An Egyptian court has sentenced three activists to two years in prison each for vandalizing a state memorial dedicated to protesters killed in central Tahrir Square.

The Wednesday verdict came two months after protesters wrecked the foundation of the government-inaugurated memorial because they saw it as an attempt to appropriate the legacy of victims killed by the state's own security forces.

Dozens of protesters died in the notorious November 2011 street battles with police, but authorities held nearly no one responsible for the killings.

The verdict comes days before Egyptians mark the third anniversary of a Jan. 25 uprising that forced longtime authoritarian Hosni Mubarak from power, amid a state of intimidation of critics of the current military-backed authorities, often painted by the media as traitors.