Head of the Egyptian parliament’s human rights committee Mohamed El-Sadat criticised Sunday a verdict that sentenced more than 150 youth to between two and five years in prison for protesting against an Egyptian-Saudi Red Sea maritime border demarcation deal.
El-Sadat said the verdict against these youth is like a “medal on their chests” that represents their allegiance to their homeland and the defence of its property.
He also praised that protesters were able to “express their opinion in a peaceful manner without sabotage or violence.”
The statement expressed El-Sadat’s discontent that the “verdicts were issued quickly, while there are other trials that take years for a verdict to be issued.”
El-Sadat’s statement added that these verdicts weaken confidence in the judiciary. “The judiciary is one of the pillars of stability for the state, and lack of confidence in it would lead the country to chaos.”
The defendants were arrested in Cairo's Dokki and Agouza districts on 25 April after taking part in demonstrations denouncing a recent government decision to acknowledge Saudi Arabia's sovereignty over the Red Sea islands Tiran and Sanafir.
The verdict can still be appealed.