April 25 protesters appeal against hefty fines

Thursday 21-07-2016 07:04 PM

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

CAIRO, Jul 21 (Aswat Masriya) – Forty-seven islands' transfer protesters whose five-year prison sentence was revoked in May appealed on Thursday the hefty EGP 100,000 fine imposed on them before the Court of Cassation.

The fine of EGP 100,000 is the maximum amount possible as set by the law for protesting according to lawyers.

The protesters had previously requested to pay the fine in installments, however the appeals court refused the request.

The fined individuals took to the streets on April 25 in opposition to a maritime border demarcation agreement that was signed in April between Egypt and Saudi Arabia. It stipulates that the two strategic Red Sea islands of Tiran and Sanafir fall within Saudi control. 

The agreement stirred controversy in Egypt with critics accusing President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi for "selling Egypt’s land" in return for Saudi aid.

Thousands of Egyptians to take 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.

Hundreds were arrested and sentenced to prison on protest charges. However, most of those arrested for protesting the agreement were later acquitted or had their sentences revoked by court. 

Lawyers filed a lawsuit with Egypt's administrative court to revoke the decision to transfer the islands. The court annulled the Egyptian-Saudi agreement in an initial verdict that was perceived as a historic ruling affirming that the islands fall within Egypt's borders.

Egypt's government later appealed the ruling, claiming that the court lacks jurisdiction over the case which involves a '"sovereign act". The Supreme Administrative Court is yet to rule on the matter. 

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