Al Jazeera – Tuesday, 10 December 2013 (originally published 07 Dec)
Egyptian authorities have released 21 women and girls convicted for staging a street protest after an appeal court reduced their harsh penalties, including prison terms of 11 years, to suspended sentences.
The initial verdict handed down late last month caused an international and domestic outcry.
“This is God-given,” Ola Alaa, an 18-year-old medical student who was initially sentenced to 11 years, told the Associated Press news agency. “I think (the authorities) wanted to calm things down,” she said from her home in the coastal city of Alexandria on Saturday . . .