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Egyptian leader sues Sisi over islands

20 April 2016 9:00


An Egyptian opposition politician has launched legal proceedings against President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi over his decision to hand the control of two strategic Egyptian Red Sea islands over to Saudi Arabia.

Leader of the Egyptian Popular Current, Hamdeen Sabahi, filed a 10-page complaint at a Cairo administrative court over a contentious deal between Cairo and Saudi Arabia under which the sovereignty of the islands was transferred.

Sabahi said he possesses documents that prove the islands, Tiran and Sanafir, are Egyptian territory and cannot be transferred to Saudi Arabia.

“The islands are part of our national right, as evidenced by a number of documents. The constitution of this country does not allow these national rights to be violated,” Sabahi wrote in his complaint, parts of which he posted on his Facebook page.

Sabahi’s move comes as another lawyer and opposition activist, Khalid Ali, has already taken legal action against Cairo.

The Egyptian government has been under fire since it announced in a statement on April 9 that the islands of Tiran and Sanafir fall within the territorial waters of Saudi Arabia based on a maritime border agreement signed with Riyadh the previous day.

Legal experts and opposition figures, including exiled politician Ayman Nour, and the country’s Muslim Brotherhood movement have cast doubt on the legitimacy of the agreement, arguing that relinquishing authority over Egyptian territory is unconstitutional.

Thousands have also taken to online social networks, accusing Sisi of surrendering Egyptian territory in return for Saudi money.

Egypt is reportedly receiving USD 20 billion in aid from Saudi Arabia in return for agreeing to the hand-over of the sovereignty.

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