1,909 detained in Egypt as crackdown continues

The number of arrests in Egypt has hit 1,909, according to figures documented by the Cairo-based NGO the Egyptian Centre for Economic and Social Rights.

Since the 20 September protests began in Egypt security services have been rounding up journalists, lawyers and politicians in a bid to quash further demonstrations.

Yesterday security officials confirmed that they had arrested two political science professors, Hassan Nafaa and Hazem Hosni.

Several members of the Istiqlal Party were detained in dawn raids and the prominent human rights lawyer Mahienour El-Massry has also been arrested.

Also incarcerated are six foreigners – two Jordanians, two Turks, one Palestinian and a Dutch man – who have been charged with espionage and linked with Mohamed Ali’s calls for protests.

On his talk show Al-Hekaya the pro-regime TV presenter Amr Adib broadcast videotaped confessions from the six men and images of their passports.

Authorities have accused the Palestinian, Ashraf Tafesh, of being an intelligence officer for the Al-Quds Brigades, who came to Egypt to spy, and said that the Dutchman Peter Bas Haroun was flying a drone on the rooftop of his hotel and planned to use the footage to communicate with foreign entities.

President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi has blamed “political Islam” for the protests and blocked the BBC following its coverage of events in the country.

Security services are destroying homes as they come to take opposition figures away, however, Al-Sisi’s son, the security official Mahmoud Al-Sisi, has criticised the Interior Minister for the “lax” approach taken by the security services.

The inspiration behind the demonstrations, exiled contractor Mohamed Ali, is advocating a million-man march and for Egyptians to fill the streets and squares of the country tomorrow and demand the president stand down.

Ali initially exposed corruption in the inner circle of the regime and military but his videos have ignited a debate about a number of key human rights violations carried out by the Egyptian government.

Al-Sisi’s rule has been marked with severe repression. The number of political prisoners has swelled to an estimated 60,000. They are systematically tortured and denied medical care.


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