Egyptian journalist Mahmoud El-Sakka released on bail in Red Sea islands case

Ahram Online , Thursday 29 Sep 2016

Journalist Mahmoud El-Sakka was accused of spreading false news, inciting the public and plotting to overthrow the regime for publishing articles against the Red Sea islands deal between Egypt and Saudi Arabia

Mahmoud El-Sakka
Egyptian journalist Mahmoud El-Sakka (Photo: Courtesy of Mahmoud El-Sakka Facebook account)

A Qalioubiya criminal court ordered the release of journalist Mahmoud El-Sakka on EGP 5,000 bail pending investigation on Thursday, lawyer Khaled Ali announced.

The prosecution has appealed against the court's order.

Two other political activists were released on EGP 5,000 bail each with El-Sakka on Thursday.

El-Sakka is accused of spreading false news, inciting the public, and plotting to overthrow the regime for publishing articles in "Yanair" news website against the Egyptian government's April deal with Saudi Arabia to redraw maritime borders.

The deal transfers the authority of two Red Sea islands of Tiran and Sanafir from Egypt to Saudi Arabia caused a lot of controversy in Egypt as hundreds of protests and activists were arrest from different governorate in relation to protests against the deal.

Both El-Sakka and "Yanair" news website's Editor-in-chief Amr Badr were arrested at the Headquarter of Egypt's journalists syndicate in Cairo in late April while holding a sit-in against their arrest warrants and storming their homes by security forces.

Journalist Amr Badr was released also on bail pending investigation in August.

The arrest of Badr and El-Sakka caused a huge controversy as the journalists syndicate's board accused the police of storming the syndicate without a permit. The police, on the other hand, stated that it did not break the law and actually had the right to arrest Badr and El-Sakka from inside the syndicate.

Three board members of the syndicate including its head Yahia Qallash were accused officially by Prosecution of sheltering fugitives. The three were referred to misdemeanor court.

Their trial will be resumed in October.  

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