Saturday, May 21, 2016

Tiran and Sanafir Trials : You tried that before and you failed

First of all, I think we should forget or ignore what is happening in Tiran and Sanafir ongoing debate in Egypt in addition to what is happening to EGYPTAIR 804
We should not forget because there are over 100 people whose future is at stake for real.
Already according to human rights lawyer and member of Egypt's National Council for Human Rights Ragia Omran, the total number of arrests officially from 15 April to 10 May related to Tiran and Sanafir isles case reached to 1317.
Some of the detainees have already been released while some others are detained pending investigations. There are also the misfortunate detainees who have been already sentenced to prison in very quick trials last week.
On Saturday , a special court circuit sentenced more than 150 people 2 to 5 years in jail over protesting the Tiran and Sanafir Egyptian-Saudi deal on 25 April.
Saturday morning , a special court specialized in terrorism-related cases sentenced 51 people to two years hard labor for  illegal protesting in Downtown Cairo on 25 April.
Then Saturday evening and after 8 hours of hearings , another special court after sentenced 111 people to five years in jail for illegal protesting in Al-Massaha square in Dokki on 25 April , joining a terrorist group and disturbing the public order and security.Seventy-Five defendants in this case are fined LE 100,000 "USD 10,000"
These are the maximum penalties in the controversial unconstitutional Protest law.
It only took two sessions to convict over 150 people.
Among those people mostly young men, a very fine man who is my friend : Mahmoud Gamal El-Din. Mahmoud, a senior social media and marketing executive in one of Egypt's top recordings company and  a talented freelance photographer.
Mahmoud Gamal El-Din at the Egyptia Museum last
He was arrested at Al-Massaha square among others.
Gamal El-Din is a talented photographer who documented the past 5 years through his lens. Here is his work in CNN iReport as well on Flickr.
Last December , we went along with a fantastic group of friends to the Egyptian Museum in Cairo and he took that collection of photos.
Besides Mahmoud , there is a huge group of innocent men who did not do anything wrong except protesting peacefully or even doing their job as photojournalists or even passing by in the wrong time !!
Yes , this is a first-degree sentence and will be appealed. Of course, I fear that the boys are not going to be released.
On Tuesday, the administrative court postponed the hearing in a lawsuit against the government decision to redraw the maritime borders with Saudi Arabia and giving up Tiran and Sanafir to 7 June.
The court also ordered the Egyptian government to present all its maps , documents and correspondences supporting the validity of the agreement.

Khaled and the rest of his team at the state council
"Mohamed El-Raay" 
The lawsuit was filed by a group of lawyers including Khaled Ali, Tarek Al-Awady and Malek Adly. "Malek Adly was working on that lawsuit with that team when he was arrested "
During its first session, Khaled Ali presented documents that prove Tiran and Sanafir are Egyptian territories historically including a military Atlas book published by Egypt's Ministry of defense in 2007 showing that the Red Sea islands as part of Egypt clearly contrary to what the Egyptian government claims.

This is the first time I see that Military Atlas but in the past month , I have read testimonies and saw documents that prove the two islands have been considered part of Egypt since the Middle age. Yes , the Middle ages.
On Wednesday, the prosecution renewed the detention human rights lawyers and activists  Haitham Mohamedein , Malek Adly and Zizo Abdu another 15 days pending investigations for a number of charges including spreading false news and attempting to topple the regime.
Malek Adly's wife Asmaa Aly saw her husband at last and he told her that he was being mistreated in his custody.

On the same day , a group imprisoned protesters arrested on 25 April announced that they were going to start a gradual hunger strike to protest their 5 years-prison sentence.
The first 10 prisoners out of 47 young men started that hunger strike on Wednesday.
Here is their statement as published by Freedom for the Brave in Arabic and English

The Tiran and Sanafir crackdown did not stop at protesters and lawyers as well journalists who are just doing their job. Last week, news reports in different newspapers spoke on how there is currently a witch hunt against the judges and prosecutors who express their views about the disputed isles on the social media even with simple like click!!
Al-Masry Al-Youm newspaper says that 10 judges were referred to disciplinary committee for expressing their views about Tiran and Sanafir isles on social media violating the orders of The Supreme council of judiciary not to express their political views.
Tabloid Al Fagr is speaking about 46 judge and prosecutors.
With my all due respect, Judge Nagy Shehata has not been referred to any disciplinary committee for his clear political statements in Egypt as far as I remember.
This is too much for real.

I do not know if there are still any true politicians in the current administration or not. I know that this policy will end up in a disaster soon or later and once again we will have " how this happened" studies.
Already, what happened to them convinced many people that the regime did sell Egyptian islands to Saudi Arabia.
I know that the Tiran and Sanafir isles or rather that the Tiran strait is playing some role in a new Middle East alliance being made by Israel and Saudi Arabia against Iran.
I know that there are other plans for the region and a new Sykes-Picot is being made and formed and so nobody cares that much about"those annoying and rude kids" protesting in Cairo with old slogans about national sovereignty.
The thing is that long-term stability in the Middle East won't be achieved using the police state as well other  old ways that failed over and over.
It did not bring long-term stability nor short-term stability.
Do not follow Saddam and Al-Assad's footsteps to avoid the fate of Syria and Iraq for real.
Did I say before that I feel sometimes that Egypt's location is more of a curse than a bless !?


  1. Are there any ancient archaeological sites on the islands of Tiran and Sanafir?
    Is there any other evidence of the islands listed under the sovereignty of Egypt such as old maps or evidence of military bases?

    1. I do not know but it is mentioned in the books of Arab historians since middle ages as an island under the ruler of the rulers of Egypt. There are tons and tons of documents in the modern times that prove it has been under the sovereignty of Egypt since 19th century


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