CAIRO - An Egyptian appeals court on Monday upheld the jailing of three leading figures of the 2011 pro-democracy uprising, tightening a crackdown on secular activists opposed to the army-backed government.

Critics see their case as an attempt to stifle the kind of political street activism common since the uprising that ousted autocrat Hosni Mubarak three years ago, as Egypt prepares for presidential elections next month.

A court handed down three-year sentences to the three liberal activists, Ahmed Maher, Ahmed Douma and Mohamed Adel, in December for protesting without permission and assaulting the police.

The verdict was the first under a new law that requires police permission for demonstrations. The case stemmed from protests called in defiance of the law. The European Union and the United States had urged Egypt to reconsider the verdict.


Please LIKE our Facebook page - it makes us stronger