Following international outcry, Egypt to reconsider sentences of underage female protesters
Female members of the Muslim Brotherhood are seen during their trial in the Egyptian city of Alexandria on November 27, 2013. Seven of the 21 arrested are aged between 15-17. (AFP)
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Sekina Fouad, Egyptian presidential advisor for women's affairs, says interim president Adly Mansour will consider the status of the 21 female Islamist protesters who were given 11-year jail sentences by an Alexandria court this week.
Following news reports that Mansour would give the detainees a pardon after their sentences spurred domestic and international controversy, Fouad clarified that Mansour can interfere only after a final verdict is returned in the case following the forthcoming appeal.
The 21 female protesters, seven of whom were between 15 and 17 years-old, were slammed with jail sentences of 11 years and one month by an Alexandria misdemeanour court for destruction of private property, attacking security forces and stirring violence. The seven convicted minors were order to be placed in a detention centre until they reach the age of majority.
The severity of these sentences has sparked outrage in Egypt and from international observers.
Nasser Amin, the director of the Arab Centre for the Independence of the Judiciary and a member of the National Council for Human Rights, told Ahram Online that the ruling was "extremely harsh" and should be cancelled immediately.
Amin added that he was certain the appeal would be accepted because "the court will be conscious of the harshness of the verdict."