News

Egypt Administrative Court Annuls Transfer of Red Sea Islands to Saudi Arabia

Egypt Administrative Court Annuls Transfer of Red Sea Islands to Saudi Arabia

Tiran Island
Tiran Island

Egypt’s Administrative Court annulled the decision to transfer the Red Sea islands of Tiran and Sanafir to Saudi Arabia on Tuesday.

The court also prohibited change in the islands’ status “in any form or procedure for the benefit of any other country.” The government can appeal the ruling within 60 days.

Former presidency candidate Khaled Ali, along with rights lawyers Malek Adly and Tarek Al-Awady had filed a complaint against the handover of the Red Sea islands after gathering thousands of petitions. Adly was later arrested over charges of “spreading rumors that would disrupt public security” and “harming national unity,” among other charges, and was not released.

Following demonstrations on April 15 and 25 that decried the land transfer, authorities had arrested hundreds of protesters, sentencing 152 of them to two to five years of imprisonment, and collecting fines worth 4.7 million EGP. Others were arrested by security forces from their homes and from cafés in anticipation of the April 25 protests.

“This decision is a victory for the revolutionary camp,”said Abdallah Mohamed, who had protested on both days. Arrested on April 26 and released four days later, Mohamed believes that the equations of political powers, decision-making and influence have changed.

Tensions escalated in the wake of the decision, with dozens of citizens gathering in front of the Press Syndicate in downtown Cairo and in several other locations to protest against what some saw as the selling of Egyptian land in return for Saudi Arabian aid.

Police forces stormed the syndicate in early May and arrested two journalists who had denounced the island giveaway. The two journalists, Amr Badr and Mahmoud El-Sakka, are being investigated on charges of “spreading false news,” “inciting the public” and “plotting to overthrow the regime.”

“This provision necessitates that the General Prosecutor release all those detained for objecting to the agreement,” said Naguib Gabriel, head of the Egyptian Union for Human Rights Organization, in a statement. 

Those responsible of the land transfer are also punishable under article 77 of the Penal Law.

On April 9, a statement issued by the Egyptian Cabinet declared that the agreement came “after hard work that lasted a long six years, during which time 11 rounds of meetings were held with the maritime delimitation committee between [Saudi Arabia and Egypt].”

British Airways Suspends Flights to Egypt's Sharm El-Sheikh Indefinitely
Families of EgyptAir Plane Victims to be Compensated $25,000

Subscribe to our newsletter


News
@AyaNaderM

Aya Nader is an independent journalist based in Egypt, published in Open Democracy, Daily News Egypt, The National, and Al-Monitor, among others. She is an MA candidate in International Relations at the American University in Cairo.

More in News

Orascom Inks Deal to Build 500 MW Wind Farm in Egypt

Egyptian Streets14 October 2021

Egyptian Football Fans to Return to Stadiums After a 6-Year Ban

Nadine Khaled13 October 2021

‘Everything Under Control’ After Fire Engulfs Gouna Film Festival Plaza

Egyptian Streets13 October 2021

Egypt Arrests Three After 20,000+ Vaccines Found Dumped in Waterway

Mona Abdou11 October 2021

Egypt’s Big Ramy Wins Mr. Olympia Title for Second Year in a Row

Egyptian Streets10 October 2021

Egypt Announces the Third Fuel Price Increase of 2021

Nadine Khaled8 October 2021

Moushira Khattab Becomes First Female President of Egypt’s Human Rights Council

Marina Makary7 October 2021

Egypt’s Sisi Appoints 98 Women to State Council Positions

Egyptian Streets5 October 2021