Supreme Court to review appeal against verdict blocking Red Sea islands transfer

The Supreme Administrative Court will review the government’s appeal against Tuesday’s verdict invalidating the sovereign transfer of the two Red Sea islands Tiran and Sanafir to Saudi Arabia, the privately owned Al-Shorouk newspaper reported Thursday.

The government challenged the verdict directly after it was announced by the State Litigation Authority. Just one hour after the appeal was submitted, the Supreme Administrative Court announced it would hold an urgent session this Sunday to review it, according to Al-Shorouk. The verdict quashing the transfer will not be implemented until the court issues its final ruling.

Human rights lawyer Khaled Ali, who was part of the legal team that contested the island deal, told Mada Masr on Tuesday that he thinks the verdict should be implemented immediately, despite the state’s appeal.

Ali and his fellow lawyers had built a case against the island transfer based on maritime maps, historical records, legal resolutions and Article 1 of the Constitution, which states that “The Arab Republic of Egypt is a sovereign state, united and indivisible, of which no part shall be conceded.”

Signed in April, the agreement between Egypt and Saudi Arabia sparked nationwide protests that have been described as the most significant since President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s ascendance to power in 2014. Hundreds of activists were arrested and sentenced to prison. The majority were released from custody, though often with heavy fines. Most recently, on Wednesday 22 people were acquitted of charges related to illegally protesting against the transfer.


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