Egyptian activist Mahinour El-Masry detained pending trial in Tiran and Sanafir protest case

Hadeer El-Mahdawy , Saturday 18 Nov 2017

Mahienour El-Massry
File photo of Egyptian political activist Mahienour El-Massry

An Alexandria court ordered on Saturday the detention of activist and human rights lawyer Mahinour El-Masry and rights lawyer Moatasem Medhat pending trial over illegal protesting against the Egyptian-Saudi maritime border demarcation deal in June. 

El-Masry, Medhat and three others are accused of "assembly, protesting, show of force, and insulting the president," El-Masry’s lawyer Taher Abu El-Nasr told Ahram Online.

In June, lawyers in Egypt's second-biggest city organised a demonstration in front of an Alexandria court to protest a parliament debate over the border demarcation agreement, which places the Red Sea islands of Tiran and Sanafir under Saudi control.

The court is set to issue its verdict on the protest case on 30 December, Abu El-Nasr added.

El-Masry, who served 15 months in prison in 2015 and 2016 for "storming" an Alexandria police station in 2013, attended Saturday's court session along with her colleague Medhat, according to Abu El-Nasr.

El-Masry, a well-known activist, served four months of a six-month sentence in 2014 for illegal protesting during the Khaled Said murder retrial in December 2013.

El-Masry and Medhat have been transferred to Alexandria's Security Directorate , while the three other defendants are not in custody.

Hundreds of protesters have been tried for demonstrating against the Tiran and Sanafir deal, which was signed during a visit to Cairo by Saudi King Salman in April 2016.

Many have since been released after paying  fines.

The deal has faced a number of legal challenges from opponents, but was finally ratified by President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi at the end of June after the parliament voted to approve it.

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