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Egyptians on streets to defy new protest law

At least 86 arrests made after protesters clash with police, just days after passage of controversial legislation.

Last updated: 29 Nov 2013 23:10
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Hundreds of protesters have taken to the streets in cities across Egypt and clashes erupted when police tried to break up some of the demonstrations, days after a controversial protest law was adopted.

At least 86 people were arrested across the country on Friday, according to the Interior Ministry, which added that clashes raged in several areas.

Protesters in the city of Giza threw Molotov cocktails at one police station where clashes raged for hours, the Interior Ministry told Al Jazeera.

Violence between police and protesters also broke out in the country's second largest city, Alexandria, after Muslim prayers, with security forces firing tear gas to disperse hundreds of people.

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The Mediterranean city has been tense since a court handed down heavy sentences of 11 years in prison to 21 female supporters of the deposed president Mohamed Morsi, many of them juveniles, for holding a peaceful protest.

The office of the president on Friday, however, said the women and girls would be granted a full pardon by the interim president once their cases had gone through the appeal and cessation courts.

They have been held for weeks after being arrested during a protest demanding the reinstatement of Morsi, who was toppled by the military on July 3. The youngest girl is 15-years-old.

One person was killed and several injured on Thursday during a crackdown on students protesting the harsh sentences - which have infuriated many Egyptians - in the capital Cairo.

On Friday, hundreds of mourners joined the funeral procession for the dead man, Mohamed Rewda, who studied at Cairo University.

Since July, Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood supporters have been staging near-daily protests calling for his reinstatement, with Friday's weekly Muslim prayers a key time for mobilising their largest numbers.

The rallies have often descended into street clashes with security forces or anti-Brotherhood protesters.

In an effort to quash the rallies, authorities adopted the controversial law restricting the right to protest.

Among other rules, it requires organisers to notify the Interior Ministry three days before holding a demonstration, while also setting prison terms and high fines for violators.

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