Egypt Junta Threatens to Jail Protesters Who Complain About Red Sea Islands

Sisi Warned MPs Not to Bring Up Issue Again

One day after Egypt junta ruler Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi warned parliament members against questioning the transfer of a pair of unpopulated islands to Saudi Arabia, the Interior Ministry is threatening to jail anyone caught protesting over the islands.

Egypt transferred the islands to Saudi Arabia earlier this week, as part of a deal in which the Saudis would build a bridge from Saudi Arabia to the southern Sinai Peninsula. Officially, however, junta officials have indicated they view the islands as having “always” been Saudi islands.

Which isn’t sitting well with the Egyptian public, since they’ve been formally part of Egypt for centuries, and had never been suggested to be Saudi territory until the past few weeks. Sisi is seen as taking money from the Saudi government, and effectively “selling” the islands.

Egypt’s junta doesn’t handle protest well, and has sentenced enormous numbers of dissidents to death for rallying against the military takeover in 2013, and seems to view its new narrative that the islands were “always Saudi” as every bit as important a part of their narrative as the claim that everyone resisting military rule is a “terrorist.”

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of