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Prominent Egyptian activists start hunger strike in prison

Source: Reuters - Thu, 26 Dec 2013 04:08 PM
Author: Reuters
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CAIRO, Dec 26 (Reuters) - Three jailed Egyptian political activists have started a hunger strike against what they describe as mistreatment in prison, said a statement on the website of the April 6 protest movement that two of them belonged to.

A court this month gave three-year jail sentences to Ahmed Maher, Mohamed Adel and Ahmed Douma, symbols of the uprising that toppled President Hosni Mubarak in 2011, for protesting without permission and assaulting police.

Maher and Adel are leading members of April 6, one of the youth movements that mobilised followers online ahead of the 2011 uprising against Mubarak.

The activists had taken part in demonstrations against a law passed by the interim government in November banning protests without permission from the authorities. The law dealt a major blow to one of the gains of the 2011 revolution.

The statement on the April 6 website said they started the hunger strike on Wednesday, having been denied winter clothes and subjected to psychological abuse by prison staff.

The interior ministry denied the prisoners had been treated badly. "There is no bad treatment at all, all prisoners are treated the same," a ministry spokesman said.

Douma, a prominent blogger, was previously detained in a separate case under ousted President Mohamed Mursi for calling him a criminal and inciting violence. He went on another hunger strike in June in protest against his detention. (Reporting By Shadia Nasralla, editing by David Evans)

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