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Egypt: liberal group vows anti-regime rallies

The decision by the April 6 movement came after three non-Islamist activists were jailed for three years

Published: Updated:

Egypt’s April 6 youth movement that spearheaded the 2011 uprising against Hosni Mubarak vowed on Sunday to organize demonstrations against the military backed authorities after three affiliated activists were given jail sentences of three years

During a press conference held in Cairo, the movement said it will stage nationwide protests on Jan. 25, 2014 to “force this regime to change its course or depart.”

The movement said the military-backed government is following a “revenge” campaign against Jan. 25 activists who demanded the fall of Mubarak’s regime.

It said the new regime has betrayed them after the June 30 uprising in the same way that the Muslim Brotherhood betrayed them after the Jan. 25 revolution.

The court order on Sunday is the first such verdict against non-Islamist protesters since the ouster of president Mohammad Mursi in July.

Ahmed Maher, Ahmed Douma and Mohamed Adel were also found guilty of rioting and assaulting security forces during an unauthorized protest held last month, the sources said.

The three were fined 50,000 Egyptian pounds ($7,100) each, they added.

The three were the first pro-democracy activists to go on trial amid a massive months-long government crackdown on Islamists following the military’s July 3 overthrow of Mursi, the country’s first democratically elected leader.

Maher is the founder of the April 6 youth movement that led the revolt against Mubarak. All three defendants were leading dissidents under Mubarak, but they also supported the military’s overthrow of Mursi, whom they accused of betraying the 2011 “revolution.”

(With AFP)