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Nov 15, 7:24 AM EST

Egypt court to release 24 Nubians pending trial for protest

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CAIRO (AP) -- A rights lawyer says an Egyptian court has ordered the release of 24 Nubians pending trial on charges they took part in an illegal protest in the southern city of Aswan.

Moustafa el-Hassan says Wednesday's decision was issued by a state security court in Aswan, where the Nubians protested in September.

El-Hassan says their trial will begin Dec. 12 and that they will be released within days. No bail was involved. They face charges of taking part in an illegal protest, receiving foreign funds and blocking roads.

The Nubian protest demanded they be allowed to return to their ancestral land around the lake formed by the Aswan High Dam.

Nubians trace their roots to an ancient civilization on the Nile. They were forcibly displaced four times in the last century.

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