Egyptian court orders release of two activists in Red Sea islands case

Sunday 09-10-2016 06:43 PM

An Egyptian flag flutters at the High Court of Justice in Cairo November 1, 2011. REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El-Ghany

CAIRO, Oct 9 (Aswat Masriya) - A Cairo court ordered on Sunday the release of political activists Haitham Mohamedain and Hamdy Qeshta after they spent more than five months in detention, according to lawyer Mokhtar Mounir.

Mohamedain and Qeshta were arrested ahead of planned protests on April 25 on accusations of plotting to overthrow the government, inciting unlicensed protests and belonging to an outlawed group. Their detention has been renewed since then.

The activists were among dozens who have been detained in the wake of April 25 protests against the Egyptian-Saudi maritime border demarcation agreement, which stipulates that two strategic islands, Tiran and Sanafir, fall within Saudi territorial waters.

Despite their release, they will have to visit police station three times a week for four hours over the period of 45 days due to precautionary measures placed on them by the prosecutor, said Mounir in a Facebook post.

The release order comes less than one month after Zizo Abdo, another defendant in the case, was released. Mohamedain and Qeshta were the only two remaining in detention in the case that initially included a total of nine defendants.

Mounir previously told Aswat Masriya that all defendants should be released as they are “detained in the same case, facing same charges, so the same procedures should be taken.”

Last June, the administrative court annulled the border demarcation agreement and affirmed that the two islands fall within Egypt's borders, before the Cairo Court of Urgent Affairs suspended late in September the administrative court's ruling invalidating the border agreement.

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