Egypt appeals court acquits 33 convicted protesters

Egypt appeals court acquits 33 convicted protesters

[JURIST] A Cairo appeals court on Saturday acquitted 33 protesters previously sentenced to two years in prison. The protesters were among 300 others who were arrested [AP report] in April for holding a large scale public demonstration against the surrendering of the Red Sea Island to Saudi Arabia. While the government cracked down on the demonstration, one of the largest since President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi was elected, the majority of the protesters have been freed, acquitted or released on bail.

Egypt [BBC profile] has been internationally scrutinized in recent months over allegations of human rights infringements and free speech violations. This week an Egyptian court began the trial [JURIST report] of a journalist union leader as well as two board members who were charged with spreading false news and harboring wanted reporters. Last month more than 100 Egyptian demonstrators were convicted [JURIST report] for peacefully assembling without a permit. Three UN rights experts recently urged [JURIST report] the Egyptian government to end its oppressive response towards human rights advocates in the country. In early May an Egyptian court sentenced [JURIST report] six people, including three journalists, to death for allegedly leaking state secrets to Qatar. Last month Egypt’s Court of Cassation overturned the five-year prison sentences of 35 Al-Azhar students, ordering a retrial [JURIST report]. Earlier in April three UN human rights experts urged Egypt to cease [JURIST report] its ongoing crackdown on humans rights defenders and organizations.