Red Sea Islands Protests in Egypt

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The proposed sale of two islands in the Red Sea has sparked anti-government protests in Cairo, Egypt. Demonstrators are angry over a plan by the Egyptian government to hand over the islands, Tiran and Sanafir, to Saudi Arabia. The Egyptian government asserts that the islands have always belonged to Saudi Arabia, but had been under temporary control of Egypt since the 1950. Critics of the deal see the islands as part of a strategically important maritime route, and accuse the government of trading the territory for billions of dollars of Saudi investment in the country. Protests have escalated into violence, with participants accusing police of brutality against demonstrators. Human Rights Watch reports that 382 people have been arrested before the protests were dispersed on April 25.

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