Egypt court orders release of activists Haitham Mohamadein & Hamdy Qeshta

El-Sayed Gamal El-Din , Sunday 9 Oct 2016

Haytham Mohamadeen
Rights lawyer and activist Haytham Mohamadeen (Photo courtesy of Haytham Mohamadeen Facebook page)

A Giza criminal court ordered on Sunday the conditional release of two well-known 25 January activists under strict probationary provisions after 170 days of detention over charges of inciting April protests against the Egyptian-Saudi Red Sea island deal.

Socialist activist and rights lawyer Haitham Mohamadein and 6 April group member Hamdi Qeshta were arrested in April and accused by prosecution of joining an unlawful group and attempting to overthrow the government.

Mohamadein was among several activists arrested days before the 25 April protests against the Red Sea island agreement.

Qeshta was arrested by police during a Boulaq El-Darkour protest on the planned day of protests.

Prosecutors had extended the detention of both activists on more than one occasion before today's court decision.

The Egyptian government’s decision in early April to cede sovereignty over the islands of Tiran and Sanafir in the Gulf of Aqaba to Saudi Arabia sparked widespread public outcry and protests.

Dozens of protesters were arrested and put on trial but most of them have been released after paying hefty fines.

The maritime deal is currently being challenged in Egyptian courts.

Egypt’s High Administrative Court is expected to issue in October a ruling on the government’s appeal against a verdict overruling the controversial deal.

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