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Lawyer: Prominent Egypt activists beaten in courthouse before hearing

A lawyer for three of Egypt's most prominent youth activist says his clients were beaten in the courthouse by their guards before a hearing in the appeal of their prison sentence.

Ahmed Maher, Ahmed Douma and Mohammed Adel, leading figures in Egypt's 2011 uprising, have been imprisoned since December and sentenced to 3 years for violating a controversial protest law.

On Monday, lawyer Mahmoud Belal said the three claimed their guards beat them because they complained their handcuffs were too tight.

The three have complained of mistreatment before.

Belal said the defense team threatened to withdraw until the judge examined their injuries and registered their complaint. He says Douma showed signs of having been beaten in the stomach and Adel in the knee. A verdict on their appeal is expected April 7.