Egypt Sentences 21 Women, Then Arrests Their Lawyer

14 of the women were sentenced to 11 years in prison on Wednesday
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 2, 2013 12:38 PM CST
Egypt Sentences 21 Women, Then Arrests Their Lawyer
An Egyptian woman supporter of ousted President Mohammed Morsi stands inside the defendants' cage in a courtroom in Alexandria, Egypt, Wednesday, Nov. 27, 2013.   (AP Photo/Amira Mortada, El Shorouk Newspaper)

As protests rage on in Egypt, the lawyer at the helm of the defense team representing 21 young female protesters was today arrested at home for "incitement of violence," CNN reports. On Wednesday, 14 of the women—mostly aged 18 to 22, the AP notes—were sentenced to 11 years following their participation in a pro-Mohamed Morsi demonstration. Seven girls, meanwhile, were sentenced to juvenile detention until they turn 18. Charges included illegal gathering, weapons possession, and thuggery; rights groups called the ruling "politicized."

"I can't separate his arrest from the girls' case," says another lawyer defending the women, whose appeal is set to be heard Saturday. "This means that any lawyer who comes close to the case will be detained." Though the women were clamoring for Morsi's reinstatement, he added that the lawyer, Ahmed El-Hamrawy, "was part of Morsi's opposition. He demonstrated against him on June 30, but he's been involved in defending freedoms since July 3 ... He's being punished for that." Authorities have long cracked down on Islamists who supported Morsi, but lately, they've been targeting young, secular demonstrators, the AP notes. A new rule bans gatherings of more than 10 people without prior notice. (Read more Egypt stories.)

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