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More than 1,100 detainees, including prominent activists, after protests in Egypt

September 25, 2019

EL CAIRO, Sep 25 (Reuters / EP) –

Egyptian authorities have arrested more than 1,100 people, including prominent activists, since last weekend, when protests took place in several cities against the country's president, Abdelfatá al Sisi, Human Rights groups reported on Wednesday.

Those arrested in the last two days include one of the main opposition figures, a former spokesperson for a 2018 presidential candidate and a renowned writer.

Gamal Eid, director of the Arab Network for Human Rights Information, has indicated that his group and two others – the Egyptian Center for Economic and Social Affairs and the Egyptian Commission on Rights and Freedoms – have documented more than 1,100 arrests .

Several hundred of those detainees are being investigated on charges that include the use of social networks to spread false news, undermine national security, join a banned terrorist group and protest without permission, defense attorneys have counted.

Jaled Dawud, a leading member of the Democratic Civil Movement, a coalition of opposition parties and figures, was arrested late Tuesday in Cairo, according to Eid.

Hazem Hosny, spokesman for the former army Sami Anan's campaign spokesman was also arrested late Tuesday, according to Mustapha Kamel Al Sayyid, a professor at the University of Cairo, citing Hosny's family.

According to Sayyid, Hasán Nafaa, a prominent writer and analyst who also teaches at the University of Cairo, is missing from 3 pm on Tuesday, according to his family.

The security forces have increased their presence in the main squares in large cities and have been conducting mobile phone checks in search of political content.

Al Sisi came to power after overthrowing Mohamed Mursi, the first democratically elected president and member of the Muslim Brotherhood, following mass protests against him in 2013. Protests in Egypt have been unusual under the mandate of Al Sisi, which he has carried out a broad repression of dissent, which human rights defenders consider as the most severe in the country's modern history.