Egyptian hardline Islamist group Al-Gamaa Al-Islamiya condemned on Sunday the prosecution of liberal activists Ahmed Doma, Ahmed Maher and Alaa Abdel-Fattah for protesting without authorisation in November.
The group -- a close ally of the Muslim Brotherhood, whom the activists oppose -- said trying the activists was "tantamount to putting the 25 January Revolution on trial," adding that the measure exposes the "coup" which ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in July.
"Removing Morsi from power was a coup against the revolution and its gains, which should be a motive for the partners of the 25 January Revolution to return and protest another time," Al-Gamaa Al-Islamiya said in a statement.
The statement was issued despite the activists' protests against the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamists forces allied to them.
Leading Al-Gamaa Al-Islamiya member Assem Abdel-Maged – currently in Qatar fleeing authorities in Egypt – had previously come out strongly against Morsi's opponents and described Doma as the "greatest thug" after the latter protested at the Brotherhood headquarters in March.
In statements aired on the ultra-conservative Al-Hafez Channel, Abdel-Maged had expressed his pleasure at Doma's assault by Brotherhood supporters during the March protest.