An emergency security court in Egypt has jailed 22 textile workers and their supporters for their role in the uprising in the Nile Delta town of Mahalla al-Kubra. A further 27 were acquitted.
The riots in Mahalla broke out in April 2008 following a crackdown by the state security forces on a strike for a rise in the minimum wage.
Demonstrators took to the street in protest at police action at the giant Ghazl el-Mahalla mill. Police opened fire killing several people who had gathered in the centre of the industrial town in support of the striking workers.
The town exploded in two days of confrontations, the most serious act of defiance against the US backed dictatorship of Husni Mubarak for a generation.
The revenge of the state was swift. Some 49 people, including a 58 year old woman, were arrested and charged under draconian laws.
According to reports from the court, the defendants shouted defiance as the judge handed down the sentences of two to five years. Relatives and their supporters gathered outside chanting against the regime.
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