Jan 27, 7:13 AM EST

Egypt court upholds verdict against 3 prominent activists

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CAIRO (AP) -- A defense lawyer says Egypt's highest appeal court has upheld the convictions and three-year prison sentences handed down to three prominent activists for violating a draconian law on protests.

Tuesday's court decision leaves the three - Ahmed Maher, Ahmed Douma and Mohammed Adel - with no other legal options.

They have already spent just over a year in jail after they were arrested and charged with breaking a 2013 law criminalizing political gatherings of more than 10 people without prior permission and imposes tough penalties on violators.

Lawyer Tarek al-Awadi says the Cassation Court did not give a reason for turning down the appeal.

The protest law came under renewed criticism after the killing last weekend of a female protester when police moved in to disperse the small rally.

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