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

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.