An Egyptian court on Sunday sentenced three prominent pro-democracy activists to three years in prison each for holding an unauthorised protest.

The court also found Ahmed Maher, Ahmed Douma and Mohammed Adel guilty of assaulting a police officer outside a Cairo court building.

The court, held in a police station in southern Cairo, ordered each defendant to pay a fine of 50,000 Egyptian pounds (around $7,100). The verdicts can be appealed.

The three were iconic figures of the 2011 uprising that forced long-time president Hosni Mubarak out of power.

Interim President Adly Mansour signed on November 24 a law restricting public protests, drawing criticism at home and abroad.

The law requires protest organisers to give a three-day notice to police, who have the power to ban any demonstrations they deem as a threat to public peace.

Critics say it is aimed at stifling the opposition after the army deposed Islamist president Mohammed Morsy in July.

The military-backed government has vowed to enforce the law, saying it is necessary to stop violent protests and restore security.

More In: World | International | News