Egypt arrests prominent opposition leaders

Egypt has launched a campaign of arrests against a number of the opposition figures, including prominent figures of the January 2011 revolution, local rights lawyers reported yesterday.

“Local security forces disguised in civilian uniforms kidnapped the former lawmaker and the member of Egyptian Social Democratic Party, Ziad Al-Elaimy, from Cairo’s eastern neighbourhood of Maadi,” rights lawyer, Ziad Abdel Tawab, said on Facebook.

Abdel Tawab called on the Egyptian authorities to “consider Al-Elaimy’s health status,” adding that he was suffering “diabetes, blood pressure, chronic chest sensitivity, asthma and a deficiency in the body’s immune systems.”

One of Elelaimy’s colleagues told Reuters that he had believed the arrest was linked to the coalition’s move to seek more members to prepare for parliamentary elections next year.

In a similar context, the former presidential candidate and rights lawyer, Khaled Ali, said yesterday that the state authorities had arrested the journalist Hossam Monis in a raid on his home, noting that his whereabouts was “unknown.”

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The humanitarian activist, Khaled Al-Bashi, also pointed out that local police had arrested the opposition figure Hisham Foad from his home, adding that he was being questioned at the state security prosecution.

Activists also reported the arrest of the local economist Omar El-Shenety on Monday and the left-wing activist Osama Al-Aqbwy in yesterday’s raid.

Since becoming president in 2014, former army chief President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has overseen a far-reaching crackdown that has swept up Islamists and liberal opponents.

At least 60,000 people have been jailed, according to Human Rights Watch. Sisi has denied holding political prisoners and his backers say the measures were necessary to stabilize Egypt after its 2011 uprising.

The Muslim Brotherhood was banned in Egypt when Sisi ousted Mohamed Mursi of the Muslim Brotherhood in 2013 and authorities declared his group a terrorist organization.