Protests in Egypt 

This item appears on page 21 of the June 2016 issue.

Thousands of protesters rallied in Cairo and Alexandria on April 15 against Egyptian president Abdel Fattah el-Sisi’s plan to give two Egyptian islands in the Red Sea to Saudi Arabia. During the protests, at least 80 people were arrested, with tear gas being fired into the crowds in Cairo. 

The islands, Tiran and Sanafir, are uninhabited and once were part of Saudi Arabia. They were transferred to Egyptian control in 1950 to protect them from Israel, which, nevertheless, twice captured the islands. 

El-Sisi has told critics that he is only returning lands rightfully belonging to the Saudis. The deal must first be ratified by the Egyptian Parliament. If it is, the islands still will not change hands for 65 years.

On April 19 in Cairo, hundreds of people protested after a tea vendor was allegedly shot by a policeman, and two passersby were wounded, during an argument between policemen and the vendor over the price of a cup of tea. The public has also been angered by other allegations of police brutality in Egypt in recent months.