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Mother, sister of detained Egyptian activists on hunger strike to gain their freedom

  • FILE - In this Thursday, Aug. 28, 2014 file photo, surrounded by plainclothes policemen, prominent  Egyptian blogger Alaa Abdel-Fattah, left, with his sister Sanaa Seif, speaks to the crowd after attending their father's funeral in Cairo, Egypt. On Monday, Oct. 27, 2014, an Egyptian court ordered the detention of one of the country's most prominent pro-democracy activists, Alaa Abdel-Fattah, at the start of his retrial along with 24 others for breaking a draconian law on demonstrations. Abdel-Fattah's detention comes one day after his younger sister Sanaa was imprisoned for three years, also for breaking the demonstrations law.  The siblings come from a family of prominent activists. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar, File)

    FILE - In this Thursday, Aug. 28, 2014 file photo, surrounded by plainclothes policemen, prominent Egyptian blogger Alaa Abdel-Fattah, left, with his sister Sanaa Seif, speaks to the crowd after attending their father's funeral in Cairo, Egypt. On Monday, Oct. 27, 2014, an Egyptian court ordered the detention of one of the country's most prominent pro-democracy activists, Alaa Abdel-Fattah, at the start of his retrial along with 24 others for breaking a draconian law on demonstrations. Abdel-Fattah's detention comes one day after his younger sister Sanaa was imprisoned for three years, also for breaking the demonstrations law. The siblings come from a family of prominent activists. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • Mona Seif, left, and her mother Laila Soueif, a university professor who is an also an activist, stand outside a court that convicted 23 activists of staging an illegal demonstration and sentenced them each to three years in jail, in Cairo, Egypt, Sunday, Oct. 26, 2014. Among the 23 is Sanaa Seif, who hails from a family of longtime rights campaigners, including her late father Ahmed Seif al-Dawla and brother Alaa Abdel-Fattah. Another defendant is Yara Sallam, a prominent rights lawyer. Sunday's verdicts, which can be appealed, comes at a time when Egypt is swept by nationalist sentiments following a dramatic surge in attacks blamed on Islamic militants on troops and security forces in the Sinai Peninsula while witnessing a smear campaign targeting many of the secular pro-democracy campaigners behind the 2011 uprising. (AP Photo/Hussein Tallal)

    Mona Seif, left, and her mother Laila Soueif, a university professor who is an also an activist, stand outside a court that convicted 23 activists of staging an illegal demonstration and sentenced them each to three years in jail, in Cairo, Egypt, Sunday, Oct. 26, 2014. Among the 23 is Sanaa Seif, who hails from a family of longtime rights campaigners, including her late father Ahmed Seif al-Dawla and brother Alaa Abdel-Fattah. Another defendant is Yara Sallam, a prominent rights lawyer. Sunday's verdicts, which can be appealed, comes at a time when Egypt is swept by nationalist sentiments following a dramatic surge in attacks blamed on Islamic militants on troops and security forces in the Sinai Peninsula while witnessing a smear campaign targeting many of the secular pro-democracy campaigners behind the 2011 uprising. (AP Photo/Hussein Tallal)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this Thursday, Aug. 28, 2014 file photo, surrounded by plainclothes policemen, prominent Egyptian blogger Alaa Abdel-Fattah, left, with his sister Sanaa Seif, speaks to the crowd after attending their father's funeral in Cairo, Egypt. Laila Soueif and Mona Seif, mother and sister of two jailed pro-democracy Egyptian activists, Sanaa Seif and Alaa Abdel-Fattah, are on hunger strike to press demands for their release and show solidarity with other activists detained for breaking a draconian law on street protests. "I don't think this will lead to the release of Alaa and Sanaa, but we are moving things and that will have an accumulative effect on the public," Soueif, a 58-year-old mathematician, told The Associated Press on Thursday, Oct. 30. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar, File)

    FILE - In this Thursday, Aug. 28, 2014 file photo, surrounded by plainclothes policemen, prominent Egyptian blogger Alaa Abdel-Fattah, left, with his sister Sanaa Seif, speaks to the crowd after attending their father's funeral in Cairo, Egypt. Laila Soueif and Mona Seif, mother and sister of two jailed pro-democracy Egyptian activists, Sanaa Seif and Alaa Abdel-Fattah, are on hunger strike to press demands for their release and show solidarity with other activists detained for breaking a draconian law on street protests. "I don't think this will lead to the release of Alaa and Sanaa, but we are moving things and that will have an accumulative effect on the public," Soueif, a 58-year-old mathematician, told The Associated Press on Thursday, Oct. 30. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar, File)  (The Associated Press)

The mother and sister of two jailed pro-democracy Egyptian activists are on hunger strike to press demands for their release and show solidarity with other activists detained for breaking a draconian law on street protests.

Laila Soueif and daughter Mona Seif had been on a "partial" hunger strike, drinking only anti-dehydration liquids, since early September. They have stopped eating and drinking since Monday, the day Alaa Abdel-Fattah, an iconic figure in Egypt's pro-democracy movement, was detained pending his retrial on charges he broke the protest law. His sister Sanaa was convicted and sentenced to three years in prison a day earlier for breaking the same law.

Soueif and Seif have been staging a sit-in inside a courts complex in central Cairo that houses the office of the nation's chief prosecutor.