Activists' detention renewed, call to revoke Wael Ghoneim's nationality dismissed

Sunday 17-01-2016 09:10 PM

Cairo, Jan 17 (Aswat Masriya) - A Cairo judge decided on Sunday to renew detention of Taher Mokhtar, a member of the Freedoms Committee in the Doctor's Syndicate, and two others for 15 days pending investigations.

The three defendants, arrested on Jan.14, are accused of possessing leaflets calling for the overthrow of the regime. The leaflets featured content criminalising medical negligence in prisons coupled with calls to reform the health sector and demands to overthrow the current government, according to the Association for Freedom of Thought and Expression (AFTE).

Homeland security claimed their investigations indicated that the detained individuals were attempting to incite citizens to join protests on Jan. 25, which marks the annivesary of a popular uprising that toppled then-President Hosni Mubarak after he ruled the country for 30 years.

The Cairo Administrative Court also rejected on Sunday a lawsuit filed by a lawyer who sought to revoke the Egyptian citizenship from political activist Wael Ghoneim.

Lawyer Samir Sabry accused Ghoneim of working for the "external forces" that "control and protect him."

Ghoneim became a popular figure after the January 25 uprising. He was one of the co-founders of the well-known Facebook page created to criticise police brutality, "We are all Khaled Said", set up in memory of a young man who was beaten to death while in police custody in June 2010.

On Saturday police forces arrested ?Ahmed Youssef, a photojournalist, as he was taking a photograph of the trees next to Cairo University. Police accused him of photographing "police facilities", in reference to police vehicle that was in the area. He was released on Sunday without any charges, according to AFTE.

Security officers also stormed the privately-owned Masr al-Arabia news website and arrested its managing editor on Jan. 14. He was released the day after pending investigations. 

Egyptian poet and novelist Omar Hazek was also prevented from travelling to the Netherlands to attend the Writers Unlimited Festival, where he was set to receive the Oxfam Novib/PEN Awards for Freedom of Expression in a ceremony.

Hazek previously spent two years in prison before he was pardoned among 100 others last September by virtue of a presidential decree. 

The arrests and court decisions came a little over a week before the fifth anniversary of the January 25 uprising, which toppled former president Honsi Mubarak in 2011. 

Related links:

State resorts to 'carrot and stick approach' as uprising's 5th anniversary looms

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