Cairo court jails 10 for protesters over Rea Sea islands deal

Ahram Online , Thursday 14 Jul 2016

A Cairo court on Thursday sentenced ten people to three years in prison for protesting in April against a deal that put two Red Sea islands into Saudi hands, a judicial source told Ahram Online.

The defendants, one woman and the remainder men, were also fined EGP 100,000 (approximately $11,250) each for the convictions, which include "belonging to a terrorist group that incites to topple the regime, spreading false news, disturbing public peace and security and inciting protests."

A Cairo misdemeanour court issued the sentences, which can still be appealed.

The court had previously released all the defendants in the case on bail pending investigations except for one, activist Hamdy Kamal, who is standing trial in another case.

The Egyptian government’s decision to transfer the islands of Tiran and Sanafir to Saudi Arabia sparked widespread public outcry, with some critics accusing the government of "selling the islands."

At demonstrations against the deal in Cairo, dozens were arrested and subsequently tried. Many have since been released.

Egypt's government insists the islands belong to Saudi Arabia and that Cairo has merely been administering them temporarily since the 1950s.

Last month, an administrative court "cancelled the signing "of the deal and  said the two islands "remain Egyptian." A higher court started on 3 July to hear the government's appeal against the verdict and a recusal request by Khaled Ali, a well-known leftist lawyer who brought the lawsuit against the agreement, has been postponed to 30 July.


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