An appeal has been filed for 33 out of the 51 defendants who received a two-year prison sentence on Saturday, Al-Haqania Foundation for Rights and Freedom lawyer Sarah Rabea told Daily News Egypt.
The appeal was filed only for defendants who were present during Saturday’s court ruling session, as the remaining defendants were previously released pending a verdict in the trial.
Rabea clarified that the 18 people cannot appeal the ruling since they received it in absentia, as they can only oppose the ruling to drop it and start from the beginning.
She added that the 18 defendants have the right to oppose Saturday’s ruling since it was a contestable first degree verdict.
According to the lawyer, the court has yet to decide on the appeal session’s date.
The prison sentences handed down on Saturday have outraged members of the media and political parties, in addition to lawyers who worked on the cases, describing it as ”too harsh for the detainees”.
The 51 defendants were arrested for unlicensed protesting in Cairo during anti-government demonstrations on 25 April against the cabinet decision to transfer the sovereignty of Tiran and Sanafir Islands to Saudi Arabia.
The group of 51 defendants is one of four groups of protesters who were charged in relation to the 25 April demonstrations. The groups have been delineated according to the location and timing of arrest. There are a total of 223 defendants in the four groups.
The nationwide 25 April protests were met with a strong security response and were followed by the arbitrary arrest of bystanders without any investigation, according to numerous testimonies.
In a similar case, on Saturday the Dokki and Agouza Misdemeanour Court handed another 101 defendants five-year prison sentences and ordered 79 defendants to pay a fine of EGP 100,000 for unlicensed protesting against the islands issue.