Prominent Egyptian female activist jailed for 15 months

Supporters of ousted Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi flash the four finger symbol during a demonstration on September 13, 2013 in Alexandria (AFP Photo/) (AFP/File)

Cairo (AFP) - An Egyptian appeals court sentenced a lawyer and award-winning activist to 15 months in jail for breaking into a police station and assaulting officers in 2013, a court official said.

In February, Mahienour El-Massry, winner of France's 2014 Ludovic Trarieux International Human Rights Prize, was sentenced with two other defendants to two years in jail by a lower court in the same case.

She appealed the verdict and on Sunday an appeals court in the Mediterranean city of Alexandria reduced the sentence to 15 months.

When the judge read the verdict, Massry chanted "Down with military rule".

Defence lawyer Mohamed Ramadan said the defendants were charged when they had gone to a police station in Alexandria in March 2013 to check about a fellow lawyer who had been detained.

He dismissed the verdict -- which is final -- as a "political" ruling.

Since the July 2013 ouster by the army of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi, authorities have cracked down on his supporters and secular activists as well.

The crackdown has left hundreds of Morsi supporters dead and thousands jailed, while dozens have also been sentenced to death in mass and speedy trials.

The sweeping crackdown has also seen several top secular activists jailed.

Massry was also sentenced to two years in jail last January for violating a protest law that bans all but police-sanctioned demonstrations.

An appeals court later suspended that jail term.