CAIRO (AP) — An Egyptian court has sentenced 10 protesters to three years in prison for holding demonstrations against President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi’s decision to transfer two Red Sea islands to Saudi Arabia.
The islands’ transfer, which sparked the largest protests of el-Sissi’s presidency, was announced during an April visit by Saudi King Salman alongside billions of dollars in aid. Critics accused the government of selling off the islands. The government says that the islands belong to Saudi Arabia and Egypt was only protecting them since 1950.
One of the 10 was sentenced in absentia, while all were fined 100,000 pounds (about $10,000 dollars) on Thursday. The decision came weeks after rights lawyers won a court order striking down the Island transfer, in a public rebuke of el-Sissi. The protesters can appeal the verdict.