About a dozen friends of an Edmonton couple accused of starving their twin 2-year-old daughters showed up to support them at a brief court appearance Tuesday morning.

The married couple, charged with two counts of aggravated assault, criminal negligence causing bodily harm and failing to provide the necessities of life, is not allowed to have any contact with each other.

The father, led out first into the prisoner's box wearing handcuffs, was told to stand at the far end.

His wife then entered wearing shackles and handcuffs.

Throughout the court appearance, an interpreter translated for her.

None of the supporters would speak to the media after the appearance, except to say they felt the case has been "over-exaggerated."

Late last month, paramedics found the twins to be severely malnourished with one weighing 13 pounds and her sister 16 pounds, after they were called to the home when one of the girls went into cardiac arrest after a head injury.

She remains in hospital on life support.

The other twin had also had injuries, but a third child, a young boy, was healthy.

The judge ordered the mother and father on Tuesday not to have any contact with the boy.

The parents, who cannot be identifiied, will be back in court next Tuesday for a bail hearing.