In mid-March, four senior Egyptian officials told the Associated Press that 16,000 Egyptians had been jailed over the past eight months as part of the military crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood.
A new law that bans all protests without a police permit has led to the arrest of secular activists as well as Brotherhood supporters.
Secular activist Alaa Abdel-Fattah was arrested with 24 others in November for organising a protest without permission and for assaulting police – charges he denies. A leading figure in the 2011 uprising, Abdel-Fattah was released on bail on 23 March.
Three other well-known secular activists have been less lucky, receiving three-year sentences for the same offences.