Egypt prosecution orders detention of rights lawyer Malek Adly

Friday 06-05-2016 12:56 PM

Rights lawyer and activist Malek Adly. Photo from his Facebook account.

CAIRO, May 6 (Aswat Masriya) - Egyptian prosecution ordered on Friday the detention of rights activist and lawyer Malek Adly for 15 days pending investigation for “inciting protests” against a recently signed border demarcation agreement between Egypt and Saudi Arabia.

The agreement, which requires the Egyptian government to cede sovereignty over two strategic Red Sea islands to Saudi Arabia, stirred up controversy among Egyptians. Critics argue that the two islands are Egyptian and accuse President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi of “selling Egyptian land” in return for Saudi aid.

Protests erupted on the Friday that followed the signing of the agreement, April 15, and again on April 25, which coincided with Sinai Liberation Day.

Adly, who is accused of calling for the April 25 protests, was arrested late Thursday in Cairo’s Maadi district and was taken to Shubra al-Kheima police station based on a decision by the public prosecution.

The prosecution’s investigation implicated Adly in “working to overthrow the regime, belonging to one of the associations or organisations that seek to disrupt the provisions of the constitution, inciting protests, broadcasting false news, and possession of publications inciting against the state.”

Adly has been openly critical of the government. He was among those who criticised the agreement on Facebook and asked Egyptians to authorise him to file a lawsuit with the administrative court to cancel the decision to cede the two islands.

As news of his arrest went viral, renowned public figures called for Adly's release. Journalist and editor-in-chief of Al Bedaiah news website Khaled al-Balshy said via social media that Adly was arrested for saying that the two islands are Egyptian.

U.K.-based Egyptian novelist and political commentator Ahdaf Souief criticised the arrest on her Facebook page. "Malek Adly, lawyer, activist, indefatigable, smart, consistently on the side of the downtrodden and unjustly treated, new dad - arrested, charged with plotting to overthrow the regime, and now being questioned,” she wrote.

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