Egypt acquits 52 held over April protests against president

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An Egyptian court has acquitted 52 protesters charged with taking part in anti-government demonstrations in April denouncing the president's decision to hand over two Red Sea islands to Saudi Arabia.

The state-run MENA news agency says a Cairo Misdemeanor Court on Tuesday freed the protesters, who were among thousands that rallied on April 25 against President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi's decision on the islands.

Nearly 300 demonstrators were subsequently arrested. Most have been freed without charges. Others were convicted but were later acquitted or released on bail.

The April protests were the largest since the 2014 election of el-Sissi, whose government insists that the islands of Tiran and Sanafir at the mouth of the Gulf of Aqaba belong to Saudi Arabia.

A law adopted in 2013 bans all unauthorized demonstrations in Egypt.