Egypt sentences 152 to prison for protests over islands

Seventy-nine of them were also slapped a fine of 100,000 Egyptian Pounds (approx USD 10,000) by the court.

PTI| Updated: May 15, 2016, 04:37 AM IST

Cairo: An Egyptian court has sentenced 101 people to five years of imprisonment for participating in protests last month against the government's decision to transfer two Red Sea islands to Saudi Arabia.

Seventy-nine of them were also slapped a fine of 100,000 Egyptian Pounds (approx USD 10,000) by the court.

The defendants, who took part in protests in Dokki and Agoza districts of Giza on April 25, were charged with protesting without permission, inciting violence and joining a terrorist group among other charges.

Seven of them were minors, whose cases were referred to a juvenile court.

Meanwhile, another Egyptian court yesterday?sentenced 51 people to two years hard labour for protesting in the downtown area of Cairo on April 25 against the Egyptian-Saudi Red Sea maritime border demarcation deal.

Thirty-one people were present in court, while 20 were sentenced in absentia.

The defendants were charged with illegally protesting, attempting to overthrow the government, inciting against state institutions and disturbing public peace.

Thirteen minors were also referred by prosecution to juvenile court.

Several activists rallied on April 25 to protest against the Egyptian government's recent decision to transfer the two Red Sea islands of Tiran and Sanafir to Saudi Arabia. The two islands were under Egypt's control for over 60 years.

The protesters planned marches in different parts of Egypt and accused the government of selling the islands in return for investments from Saudi.

Police used tear gas to disperse the anti-government rallies and arrested a number of demonstrators, as street protests without prior permission from police are banned according to a controversial protest law issued in 2013.