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Egypt's top appeals court upholds five-year jail term for activist

Egypt's highest appeals court has upheld a five-year prison sentence for Alaa Abdel-Fattah, a senior figure within the country's pro-democracy movement convicted for taking part in a peaceful demonstration in 2013.

Judge Hani Mustafa upheld a prior verdict by a criminal court that ruled Abdel-Fattah had protested illegally, endangered the public interest, and stole a police radio.

Street protests have been effectively banned in Egypt.

Abdel-Fattah's aunt Ahdaf Soueif, a novelist and rights advocate, lamented the decision.

She said: "I'm sorry. Our hearts are with everyone who's been following us and rooting for Alaa and justice. We stay together."

Abdel-Fattah has around 18 months remaining of his sentence. He also faces another sentencing in December over accusations he insulted the judiciary.

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