Court to sentence 51 Red Sea islands protesters on May 14

Saturday 07-05-2016 04:51 PM

Protest at Messaha Square in Dokki, Giza on Apr. 25, 2016. Aswat Masriya

CAIRO, May 7(Aswat Masriya) - Qasr al-Nil misdemeanour court decided on Saturday to issue the verdict for 51 people who had been arrested during protests on Apr. 25 to May 14.

The detainees had been arrested for protesting against the Egyptian-Saudi maritime border demarcation agreement that concurred that the disputed Red Sea islands of Tiran and Sanafir are Saudi Arabian territory. 

The prosecution referred the defendants to the court on Apr. 28.

The defendants face charges of inciting protests, inciting use of force to overthrow the government, inciting to attack police stations, belonging to a terrorist group which aims to disrupt the law and to prevent state institutions from carrying out their duties. 

Several political forces and public figures called for protests on Apr. 25, a day which coincided with Sinai Liberation Day, against the agreement.

The agreement, which requires the Egyptian government to cede sovereignty over the two islands, stirred up controversy among critics who saw the move as "the selling" of Egypt to Saudi Arabia in return for aid.

The islands are located at the mouth of the Gulf of al-Aqaba and are strategically significant as they both control maritime activity in the gulf.

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