Mansheya Misdemeanor Court, in Alexandria, acquitted on Wednesday seven lawyers on charges of demonstrating without a permit and gathering in the city’s main square, to protest the border maritime demarcation agreement and the transfer of the Red Sea islands Tiran and Sanafir to Saudi Arabia.
Dozens of lawyers organized a protest in the city’s court yard on June 11 against the House of Representatives’ discussion of the agreement, and its subsequent decision to cede the two Red Sea islands to Saudi Arabia.
Police arrested the seven suspects on the same day they protested, and sent them to the city’s prosecution office, which referred them in July to trial on the previous charges.
Egypt’s Bar Association has formed a defense team for the seven lawyers, and asserted its commitment to defending all of its members accused in political cases.
Egypt’s Supreme Administrative Court nullified the demarcation agreement between Egypt and Saudi Arabia in January. The government ratified the agreement later this year.
The two islands were deemed to be within Saudi territorial waters, in recognition of historical claims on the part of Saudi Arabia. Several intellectuals, lawyers and historians rejected these claims. The government arrested dozens over protests against the agreement.