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In Egypt's Tora prison, imprisoned activists despair over future

Activists detained in Tora prison face an uncertain future as Egypt's interim government pushes forward with a political road map.
Political activists Ahmed Maher, Ahmed Douma (L) and Mohamed Adel (R) of the 6 April movement  look on from behind bars in Abdeen court in Cairo, December 22, 2013. Three leading Egyptian activists were sentenced to three years in prison each on Sunday in a case brought over their role in recent protests, escalating a crackdown on dissent by the army-backed government. Maher, Douma and Adel are symbols of the protest movement that ignited the historic 2011 uprising against President Hosni Mubarak. Each one

TORA, Egypt — If the first week of 2014 is any indication of what activists may face in the third year since the uprising that forced Hosni Mubarak from power, government critics and their lawyers say the road before them is long and treacherous, as Egypt’s security state is criminalizing any dissent found along its political road map paved with the slogan “stability and security.”

The activists netted in recent crackdowns by the authorities who ousted President Mohammed Morsi had played leading roles in mobilizing for the toppling of Mubarak, and against the Islamist rule of Morsi. Now, they are facing prison for protesting, this time against a government that came to power after massive rallies, which has since enacted a law banning spontaneous protest and designated its largest opposition group, the Muslim Brotherhood, “terrorists.”

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