An appeals court in Egypt has overturned sentences given to 21 women, accused of taking part in a protest in support of deposed President Mohamed Mursi in November.
The group, which includes seven minors, appeared in court inside a cage, some holding red roses and many with the word “freedom” on their palms.
They were originally found guilty of belonging to a terrorist group, obstructing traffic, sabotage and using force – verdicts some of their family members and rights groups have spoken out about.
“We do not belong to any political group or party or any organisation,” said one man, whose wife and daughter are among the 21 arrested.
“They say everyone that was arrested is a member of the Muslim Brotherhood. My own small family, and my father’s family and my wife’s family – none of us have any political allegiance.”
Saturday’s decision will see the previous sentences scrapped: the minors will be placed on three-month probation; and the 11-year stretch given to the 14 adults will be reduced to a one-year suspended term.