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Government fined for not showing evidence to declare Red Sea islands’ sovereignty of Saudi Arabia - Daily News Egypt

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Government fined for not showing evidence to declare Red Sea islands’ sovereignty of Saudi Arabia

Court postpones session to Tuesday for the third time, while demanding documentation from government’s lawyers

The State Council on Monday fined the government’s legal representative EGP 200 for not showing documentation proving the demarcation agreement that handed the sovereignty of the Red Sea islands, Tiran and Sanafir, to Saudi Arabia in April.

The court also postponed the case to Tuesday, and asked government lawyers to present the necessary documents.

The agreement, which was signed in April during the visit of Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud to Egypt, has prompted strong reactions from the public. Members of the press have dug out historical documents to prove that the islands are Egyptian while the state publicised documents that say the islands are Saudi.

Government lawyers, however, failed to present the state-publicised documents to court. Cabinet spokesperson Hossam Qawish was not available for comment on the matter.

After the agreement, public mandates have been made for prominent rights lawyers Khaled Ali, Tarek Al-Awady, and Malek Adly to represent the plaintiffs to contest the agreement.

The agreement sparked public anger that was echoed in nationwide demonstrations in April, in which protesters argued President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi had “sold the islands”. Following the first series of protests on 15 April, protests planned for 25 April were met with a strict security clampdown and random arrests.

The Egyptian parliament has yet to discuss the agreement or vote on it. The agreement was sent to parliament at the beginning of the month, according to sources. However, parliamentary speaker Ali Abdul Aal has yet to bring it to a discussion session.

In a public speech on 13 April, Al-Sisi called on Egyptians, including media outlets, to not discuss the case again, arguing that the whole matter is now in the hands of parliament, which will in turn discuss the agreement and has the freedom to approve or refuse it.

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