Qasr Al-Nil Misdemeanour Court acquitted 51 defendants on Tuesday in the case publicly known as the ”Red Sea islands protests”, according to defence lawyers.
Lawyer Sameh Samir, from the Egyptian Centre for Economic and Social Rights (ECESR), told Daily News Egypt that the new verdict concerns a total of 51 defendants, 28 of whom were in detention and 23 others who were previously released.
The group is part of four known cases in Cairo that in total involve more than 100 detainees. The defendants in the cases were detained following protests that erupted on 25 April, in contestation of the Egyptian-Saudi maritime borders’ demarcation agreement on the Red Sea islands of Tiran and Sanafir.
Political controversy followed the initial, harsh prison sentences, which ranged between two and five years. Courts later revoked several verdicts.
In early June, another Qasr Al-Nil group of 33 defendants were also acquitted from protest charges after first being sentenced to two years in prison.
The Dokki and Agouza misdemeanour court cases resulted in five-year jail terms.
Verdicts have been reversed for 47 defendants; however, the court ordered a total fine of EGP 4.7m, which amounted to EGP 100,000 per detainee. Activists raised the bail needed for the defendants to be released.
The maritime borders’ agreement was signed on 8 April between President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi and Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud, under which the two islands would belong to Saudi Arabia, despite long-time Egyptian sovereignty.