Alexandria Misdemeanour Court announced on Tuesday that it would deliver a verdict against six lawyers in relation to their alleged involvement in protests over Egypt’s transfer of Tiran and Sanafir islands to Saudi Arabia.
The defendants were accused of staging an unauthorized protest in Alexandria’s Manshiya district in June last year.
A number of other lawyers, including two from the Alexandria and Qalyubiya branches of the Lawyer’s Syndicate, attended Tuesday’s hearing in the case for support.
A warrant was only issued by the prosecution for the arrest of one of the defendants, Mohamed Ramadan, who appeared before Alexandria Criminal Court on Monday in a separate case.
Ramadan was sentenced to 10 years in prison in this case in April for insulting the president, misusing social media and inciting violence. The verdict was delivered in absentia, as he was in hospital at the time, his lawyer Mahienour al-Massry told Mada Masr. The court adjourned his appeal of the verdict to October 10, and he is to remain in detention until then.
Ramadan was also sentenced to an additional five years house arrest in this case, as well as a social media ban under Egypt’s 2015 anti-terrorism law, which includes probation measures for anyone propagating violent ideas or inciting violence via social media or other channels.
He was arrested in December at Montazah Police Station in Alexandria while undertaking his duties as a lawyer, under an arrest warrant issued by the general prosecutor based on a National Security Agency report. He was later released pending investigations, only to be arrested again from an Alexandria cafe on June 16, along with two other men, and accused of conspiring to protest and disrupt a public throughway. The prosecution ordered the detention of the three defendants, pending investigations.
Dozens of protesters have been arrested following President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s contentious decision to hand over Tiran and Sanafir islands to Saudi Arabia. After a protracted legal battle between the state and independent lawyers, Parliament approved the deal in June.
Note: Some dates have been amended in this article since it was first published.