101 Egyptian demonstrators given mass prison sentence

101 Egyptian demonstrators given mass prison sentence
Protesters demonstrating against Egypt's decision to hand islands to Saudi Arabia have been sentenced to five years in prison.
2 min read
14 May, 2016
Last month's protests resulted in hundreds of arrests [Getty]
An Egyptian court on Saturday sentenced 101 people each to five years in prison for taking part in protests last month.

The demonstrators were convicted of breaking a 2013 law that effectively bans protests.

Nearly 300 people have been arrested and charged for taking part in the demonstrations against Egypt's decision to transfer control of two strategic Red Sea islands to Saudi Arabia as part of a border demarcation agreement negotiated in near total secrecy.

Officials speaking on condition of anonymity said 13 children had been referred to juvenile court over the protests.

April's protests were the largest since President Abdel-Fattah Sisi was elected in 2014.

As military chief, Sisi had led the overthrow President Mohammed Morsi a year earlier amid massive demonstrations demanding the Islamist leader step down.

Also on Saturday, prominent activist Sanaa Abdel-Fattah gave herself up to police to start a six-month sentence passed against her last week for insulting the judiciary.

Abdel-Fattah, who comes from a family of well-known activists, was brought in for questioning last month over accusations that she was inciting protests.

She refused to answer prosecutors' questions on the grounds that the judiciary was controlled by the executive branch of government and she did not want to be part of what she described as a charade.

"I've had the experience of dealing with the system as a plaintiff and as a defendant, and now I'm required to play, again, the role of the accused, and the lawyers are required to use up their energy defending me," Abdel-Fattah posted on Facebook earlier in the week.

"Well, this time, I will not play along. I just don't have the energy."

She has refused to appeal the conviction.