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

Egypt’s Prosecutor-General Launches Investigation into Fairmont Gang Rape

Egyptian StreetsAugust 5, 2020

Egypt Expresses Solidarity After 100 Killed, 4,000+ Injured in Beirut Explosion

Nadia SalemAugust 5, 2020

Government Launches Local Goods Website to Boost Consumer Spending

Nadia SalemAugust 3, 2020
Ramy Youssef. Image courtesy of @Ramy on Instagram.

Egyptian-American Series Ramy Snags Three Emmy Nominations

Noran Alaa MorsiJuly 29, 2020

Anti-Harassment Egyptian Instagram Account Assault Police Forced Into Silence Due to Threats

Egyptian StreetsJuly 29, 2020

Two TikTok Influencers Sentenced to Two Years in Prison for Violating Family Principles

Egyptian StreetsJuly 27, 2020

Egyptian Racists Sentenced to Two Years Imprisonment for Bullying 14-Year-Old Sudanese Boy

Egyptian StreetsJuly 27, 2020

COVID-19 Deaths Edge Closer to 5,000 in Egypt: Ministry of Health

Egyptian StreetsJuly 26, 2020