The mother of two prominent Egyptian pro-democracy activists, who are in prison for holding illegal protests, started on Wednesday a hunger strike inside a court building.

Laila Sueif, a university professor, vowed not to end her strike inside the?Supreme Court in Cairo until her two children are released from prison, state-run newspaper al-Ahram reported online.

“I will not leave. If you want to clear me out, then you can do it by force,” Sueif told security guards inside the court building, according to al-Ahram.

Sueif is the mother of leading pro-democracy campaigner Alaa Abdel-Fatah, who was re-jailed on Monday after a brief release pending a trial on charges of holding an unauthorized protest and attacking a police officer.

On Sunday, Sueif’s daughter, Sanaa, was sentenced to three years in prison on charges of holding an illegal protest outside the presidential palace in Cairo.

Both activists participated in a 2011 uprising that forced longtime leader Hosny Mubarak to step down.

In November, the Egyptian government adopted a controversial law that required organizers to give a three-day notice to police before holding demonstrations. It granted law enforcement agents the power to ban any rally deemed a threat to public safety.

Several pro-democracy activists have since been jailed for holding unauthorized protests.

Critics say the law is aimed at muzzling political dissent.

Authorities argue the law is necessary to curb violence.



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