In Egypt 25 people, including the famous Egyptian blogger and activist Alaa Abdel Fattah, were sentenced yesterday to 15 years in jail under the strict anti-demonstration law that was passed last year. The 25 demonstrators were arrested during a demonstration against the use of military trials against citizens. Member of the European Parliament Marietje Schaake (ALDE/D66) reacts: "This is a renewed attack on prominent activists who played a crucial role in the developments in Egypt over the last three years. Others, such as the founder of the April 6 Movement Ahmed Maher, have been behind bars for a long time. The steps that the regime is taking to suppress every form of criticism are scandalous. This law and this verdict are a blatant violation of the right to freedom of expression and the right to peaceful demonstration. Those values and rights which laid the foundations for the revolution against Mubarak are now being quashed by the current regime." "The European Union must take a strong stance against this verdict and the use of these kinds of laws to restrict fundamental freedoms. There can be no excuse not to do so. It must be crystal clear that the EU supports the Egyptian population in its wish for more freedoms, rights and democracy. The message of European leaders, led by EU foreign policy chief Ashton, must be unequivocal: respect for human rights is a precondition for every form of political or financial support." Earlier this week, Schaake wrote a letter to Ashton to call for the formulation of a clear and coherent strategy regarding Egypt and urging her to decisively address human rights violations with the Egyptian regime.