Egypt police arrest leading activist
Alaa Abdel Fatah was arrested for calling for protests in breach of a new law that heavily restricts demonstrations in Egypt
A leading Egyptian secular activist, Alaa Abdel Fatah, was arrested on Thursday after having been accused of inciting protests in violation of a controversial new law that limits demonstrations.
Abdel Fattah, who participated in the 2011 uprising against military strongman Hosni Mubarak, was arrested at his home, security officials said.
The prosecution ordered his arrest on Wednesday, along with that of another prominent activist, Ahmed Maher, for allegedly defying a law banning non-police sanctioned protests.
Both were prolific dissidents under ousted Islamist president Mohammad Mursi.
“Deja vu, I'm about to hand myself in to the authorities again on Saturday,” Abdel Fattah wrote the same day on Facebook.
The protest law passed on Sunday has heightened fears about the future of political freedoms in Egypt after the military deposed Mursi in July.
It gives the Interior Ministry the right to ban any meeting of more than 10 people in a public place.
The protest law makes it illegal to hold a protest without police permission. The government has shrugged off criticism from rights groups calling it “deeply repressive,” saying it will not retreat from implementing it.
(With AFP and Reuters)