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Egyptian court exonerates 22 defendants accused of illegally protesting islands deal

El-Sayed Gamal El-Din , Wednesday 22 Jun 2016
Protests
Protesters outside Egypt's Downtown Press Syndicate on Friday, 15 April, 2016 (Photo: Mostafa Ali)
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An Egyptian court exonerated Wednesday 22 defendants on charges of protesting without a permit in April demonstrations against the government's decision to transfer two Red Sea islands to Saudi Arabia.

The verdict was reached just one day after another ruling that voided the government's decision to place the islands Tiran and Sanafir under Saudi Arabia's sovereignty, a deal that stirred a great deal of controversy in Egypt and lead to widespread protests on 15 and 25 April.

None of the 22 defendants exonerated were in detention before Wednesday's verdict; all defendants had been released earlier. 

This was the last group of defendants charged with illegally protesting during April anti-island deal gatherings. Other defendants were either found not guilty or released after paying hefty fines.

The Egyptian protest law stipulates that anyone who wants to stage a protest must obtain approval from the police in advance. Failing which can result in fines and jail terms.

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