Court sentences 3 people to 5 yrs for protesting against islands handover

Sunday 26-06-2016 10:35 PM

Egyptian activists shout slogans against President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and his government, during a demonstration protesting the government's decision to transfer two Red Sea islands to Saudi Arabia, in front of the Press Syndicate in Cairo, Egypt, April

CAIRO, Jun 26 (Aswat Masriya) - An Egyptian court sentenced on Sunday three protesters to five years in prison, for demonstrating against the Egyptian-Saudi maritime border demarcation agreement signed in April.

The agreement stipulates that two strategic islands, Tiran and Sanafir, fall within Saudi territorial waters.

The accord, which was signed at a time when Saudi King Salman bin Abdel Aziz was on his first official visit to Cairo in April, stirred controversy with critics accusing President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi of "selling Egypt" to Saudi Arabia in return for aid.

Thousands of Egyptians took to the streets in rare protests on April 15 and April 25, amid a police campaign of mass arrests of activists opposed to the islands’ transfer. 

The Egyptian government however maintains that both islands belong to Saudi Arabia.

Last week, Egypt’s administrative court annulled the agreement and affirmed that both islands fall within Egypt’s borders.

The State Lawsuit Authority appealed the decision.

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