Egypt sentences 51 protesters to 2yrs over Red Sea islands demo

A Qasr El-Nil misdemeanour court Saturday sentenced 51 people to two years hard labour over their participation in 25 April protests against a Egyptian-Saudi Red Sea maritime border demarcation deal.

Thirty-one people were present in court, while 20 were sentenced in absentia following their earlier release pending trial.

Those convicted by the court can still appeal their sentences.

In April, the defendants were referred to court by prosecution for illegally protesting, attempting to overthrow the government, rioting, “inciting against state institutions”, disturbing public peace and disrupting traffic.

Thirteen minors were also referred by prosecution to juvenile court.

A number of demonstrations were planned for April 25 to protest a recent government decision to acknowledge Saudi Arabia’s sovereignty over the two Red Sea islands of Tiran and Sanafir.

Police pre-empted the protests, surrounding the Press Syndicate, where demonstrations were slated to take place, and firing teargas to disperse protestors before they could gather in large numbers.

The 25 April protests marked the second wave of demonstrations against the controversial deal after several thousand, including activists and politicians, rallied against the Egyptian-Saudi agreement on 15 April, in what some described as the largest protests since President AbdelFattah al-Sisi was elected president in 2014.

source: Ahram Online