Federal prosecutors want the convictions upheld for 16 Amish men and women who cut the hair and beards of fellow Amish in eastern Ohio.

Prosecutors filed their response with a federal appeals court Friday.

The 2011 attacks were meant to shame fellow Amish the defendants believed were straying from the faith.

Among other arguments, the defendants challenge the use of a federal hate crime statute to prosecute them and argue the victims were not seriously injured.

The prosecution argues the statute was correctly applied and that the victims were forcibly awakened in the middle of the night, restrained and disfigured in a way intended to destroy an important symbol of their beliefs.