22 Tiran and Sanafir island protesters acquitted

Twenty-two protesters arrested during demonstrations on April 15 against the Tiran and Sanafir island deal with Saudi Arabia were acquitted on Wednesday. 

The 22 are among 25 accused of protesting without a permit, blocking the street, illegal assembly, obstructing transportation and disrupting general security. The remaining three are minors, who are yet to face the court in a separate trial. 

The verdict comes one day after the State Council ruled that Egypt’s maritime border deal with Saudi Arabia over Tiran and Sanafir was invalid.

The defendants were embroiled in a controversy concerning the independence of the prosecution, after it ordered their release on April 16 and then reversed the decision after a number of hours. They were eventually released on May 4 pending trial. 

Lawyer Sameh Samir told Mada Masr that with this verdict, all defendants accused of protesting against the island transfer on April 15 and April 25 have been acquitted, except for one case in Bulaq al-Dakrour district in which 10 defendants have been released pending trial.

A Cairo appeals court acquitted 33 protesters on June 5 after they initially received a verdict of two years in prison for charges related to protests held on April 25 against the island deal.

Another 47 protesters arrested on April 25 on similar charges were released after a Dokki appeals court reversed a five-year sentence against them and upheld a LE100,000 fine. The defendants were released after a popular campaign collected their fines.