Egyptian authorities arrest socialist activist

May 18, 2018 15:12
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CAIRO - Egyptian authorities arrested a prominent rights activist on Friday on suspicion of belonging to a terrorist organization, security sources said.

Haitham Mohamedeen, a leftist lawyer who defends labor rights and belongs to the Revolutionary Socialist movement, was arrested at his Giza home, the sources said, the latest of a number of activists arrested in recent weeks.

Security sources said he would be questioned by the state security prosecution on potential charges of joining a terrorist organization and calling for the overthrow of the regime by publishing false news.

An Interior Ministry spokesman was not immediately available for comment.

Mohamedeen had been arrested in 2013 on accusations of belonging to a secret organization and spreading lies about the military.

He was later released, but arrested again in 2016 for calling for protests against the transfer of two Red Sea islands to Saudi Arabia.

A state security prosecutor on Tuesday ordered the detention political activist Shady Ghazaly Harb, a leading opposition figure during the 2011 Arab Spring uprising against president Hosni Mubarak, on suspicion of joining a terrorist organization.

Another female activist who posted a video complaining of sexual harassment was detained earlier this month.

Campaigners say Egypt's human and civil rights record has deteriorated sharply under President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who came to power in 2014 after the army overthrew Islamist president Mohamed Mursi, and has overseen a crackdown on all forms of political dissent.

Sisi's supporters say his tough security policy is needed to ensure stability as Egypt recovers from years of political chaos and tackles economic challenges and an Islamist insurgency.

Sisi this week pardoned more than 330 people, many of them young people jailed for demonstrating in recent years.

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