Egypt prosecutors set bail for 4 activists arrested over anti-island deal posters

El-Sayed Gamal El-Din , Wednesday 25 May 2016

The four activists were questioned on charges of 'spreading false news' and 'inciting protests'

Khaled Bassyouni
Khaled Bassyouni, son of Mohamed Bassyouni, the general secretary for Al Karama party (Photo: Facebook)

Egypt's prosecutors ordered Tuesday the release on bail of four Egyptian activists who were reportedly arrested while placing posters in a Cairo metro station opposing the recent Egyptian-Saudi Red Sea island deal.

The four young men were arrested on Monday at Helwan metro station south of Cairo as they were putting up the posters.

They were questioned on charges of "inciting protests" and "spreading false news."

A south Cairo prosecution office set bail of EGP 2,000 (approximately $225) each. However, they remain in custody pending bail posting.

The four arrested include Khaled Bassyouni, the son of Mohamed Bassyouni, general-secretary of the Nasserist Al Karama Party that was founded by former presidential candidate Hamdeen Sabahi.

Egypt’s decision to transfer the islands into Saudi hands after an agreement on maritime re-demarcation has sparked widespread public outcry, with some critics accusing the government of "selling the islands."  

Egypt, however, maintains the islands always belonged to Saudi Arabia.

Dozens of protesters were recently rounded up during demonstrations against the agreement.

An Egyptian court sentenced more than 150 of the protesters to between two and five years in jail and EGP 100,00 for their participation in protests against the deal. However, on Tuesday, an appeals court overturned the jail sentences for 47 but upheld the fines.

Last week, members of Al Karama Party started a sit-in at the party's headquarters against the controversial deal and the jailing of dissidents opposing it. Sabahi and other senior members of the party and supporters are taking part in the sit-in.

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