An Egyptian court has ordered the release of 461 political activists from detention after they were charged with spreading false news, a rights lawyer said on Thursday.
The journalists and students had been detained in connection with 19 different cases over the past four years, lawyer Ramadan Mohammed said.
Authorities have freed the majority of them in response to orders issued by the Cairo Criminal Court earlier this week, he added.
Charges levelled against them included misusing social media to publish false news and promoting the agenda of a terrorist group, a reference to the now-outlawed Muslim Brotherhood, according to the lawyer.
So far, there has been no comment from authorities.
The reported releases come more than a month after rare, small protests erupted in some parts of Egypt against the government of President Abdel-Fattah al-Sissi.
Al-Sissi has repeatedly warned Egyptians against protests, saying that they could lead to chaos.
In 2013, the army, then led by al-Sissi, deposed Egypt’s first democratically elected president, Mohammed Morsi, a senior official in the Muslim Brotherhood and a divisive figure in the country.
Thousands of secular and Islamist opposition figures have since been rounded up.
Street demonstrations are heavily restricted in Egypt under a contested 2013 law that the government said was necessary to restore stability to the country.
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