Egypt court acquits lawyers charged with demonstrating against Red sea islands agreement

Saturday 04-02-2017 03:07 PM

Protests against Egyptian-Saudi maritime border demarcation agreement (Mohamed El-Raei)

CAIRO, Feb 4 (Aswat Masriya) - An Egyptian court acquitted on Saturday 12 lawyers charged with spreading rumors and protesting against the controversial maritime border demarcation agreement between Egypt and Saudi Arabia.

The lawyers were arrested for participating in a demonstration in front a courthouse in Qaliubya and calling for protests against the agreement that stipulates that the two strategic islands Tiran and Sanafir fall within Saudi territorial waters.

In January, the Supreme Administrative Court  upheld a previous court ruling annulling the agreement and confirmed that the two islands fall under Egyptian sovereignty. It also rejected the government's appeal against the annulment.

The agreement was signed during Saudi King Salman bin Abdel Aziz’s first official visit to Cairo in April 2016. It stirred controversy, with critics accusing President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi of "selling Egypt" to Saudi Arabia in return for aid.

Located at the mouth of the Gulf of Aqaba, the two islands are strategically significant as they both control maritime activity in the Gulf.

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