Egypt acquits 22 accused of illegal protests

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Cairo, June 22 (IANS) An Egyptian court on Wednesday acquitted 22 defendants charged with illegally protesting in April against a government decision to transfer two Red Sea islands to Saudi Arabia, the media reported.

Wednesday’s verdict came a day after Egypt’s Administrative Court nullified a deal signed between Cairo and Riyadh in April on maritime border demarcation that placed the two Red Sea islands of Tiran and Sanafir in Saudi waters, Xinhua news agency reported.

The deal stirred up a controversy in Egypt and led to widespread protests on April 15 and 25.

None of the defendants who were exonerated were in detention before Wednesday’s verdict; all had already been released.

It was the last group of defendants charged in the case. The others had either been found not guilty or released after paying hefty fines.

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