Last updated at 13:51 GMT, Monday, 23 December 2013

Egypt jails three leading activists

Summary

23 December 2013

Three of Egypt's most prominent activists from the 2011 uprising have been sentenced to three years in prison. They are the first to be convicted under a controversial new law that restricts demonstrations.

Reporter:

Orla Guerin

Cairo

The court in Cairo found them guilty of holding a demonstration without authorisation

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Report

The three activists, Ahmed Maher, Ahmed Douma, and Mohammed Adel were at the forefront of the revolution in 2011. They were founding members of the April 6th Youth Movement which led the revolt against Hosni Mubarak.

The jailing of these leading pro-democracy campaigners will deepen concerns about a growing crackdown on dissent here.

Initially, Islamists were the main target for the authorities – thousands have been detained. But recently dozens of liberal activists have been rounded up for breaching the draconian new law on public protests.

The military installed government maintains that it is on a path to democracy. But to many here that's not how it looks.

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Vocabulary

at the forefront of

leading

founding members

the people who were part of a group or organisation when it first started

crackdown

control of illegal behaviour in a very severe way

dissent

expression of opinions which are different from the officially accepted ones

rounded up

gathered; collected

breaching

breaking; violating

draconian

very severe

military installed government

government chosen and kept in place by the armed forces

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