Court hands Apr. 25 protesters two years hard labour prison sentences

Saturday 14-05-2016 03:56 PM

Activists protest Sisi's transfer of the Red Sea islands to Saudi Arabia in front of the Journalists' Syndicate on April 15th, 2016. (ASWAT MASRIYA/ Mohamed al-Raai)

CAIRO, May 14 (Aswat Masriya) - The Qasr al-Nil court sentenced 51 people, arrested whilst protesting the Egyptian- Saudi maritime border agreement on Apr. 25, to two years in prison with hard labour on Saturday.

Twenty of the detainees were in court while the remaining 31 were sentenced in absentia. The sentence is subject to appeal.

The detainees 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 the 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 two strategic Red Sea islands, stirred up controversy among critics who saw the move as "the selling" of Egypt to Saudi Arabia in return for aid.

Days ahead of Apr. 25, a security campaign was launched sweeping some cafes in Downtown Cairo and resulting in the arrest of dozens of people.

On Apr. 25, police arrested 270 protesters from Cairo and Giza, a security source previously told Aswat Masriya. 

The protests of Apr. 25 came ten days after thousands of protesters gathered in front of the press syndicate on Apr. 15 under the slogan "Friday of the land" to protest against what they considered "the sale of Egypt." By the end of the day, protesters had announced their plans to demonstrate again on Apr. 25.

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