Amani Othman’s sons are among 170 people imprisoned in Egypt over suspected links to Isis. Many observers echo her belief that a government drive against Islamic State is ensnaring innocent people

“These are the terrorists,” says Amani Othman, showing a mobile phone video of her two sons playing ping pong while on holiday in Kuwait.

Sitting in a Cairo coffee shop, Othman giggles at the idea her boys could truly be extremists. But both Omar and Ahmed, seen in the video joking around as they hit the ball back and forth, are in an Egyptian prison where they have been awaiting trial for nearly two years. Omar, the eldest, is one of 170 defendants facing a litany of charges connected to ideological and financial support for Islamic State. Her younger son is accused of “belonging to a banned group”.

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