21 women in Egypt get 11 years in prison for holding protest

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An Egyptian court has handed down heavy sentences of 11 years in prison to 21 female supporters of the ousted Islamist president, many of them juveniles, for holding a protest.

The court in the Mediterranean city of Alexandria issued the ruling Wednesday, weeks after the women were arrested during a protest demanding the reinstatement of Mohammed Morsi, ousted in a July 3 coup.

They were convicted on multiple charges, including holding a demonstration, sabotage and using force. Seven of them are under 18 years of age.

The court also sentenced six members of Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood to 15 years in prison in absentia for inciting the protest.

The verdict comes as security forces have cracked on small protests by secular activists, implementing a new law putting heavy restrictions on protests.