One of the Leading Activists in Egypt's Protests has Been Arrested
Alaa Abdel Fattah has been arrested by officials just six months after being released from prison.
Since last week, Egypt has been embroiled in anti-government protests calling for the resignation of President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi's resignation. These protests, which are rare under al-Sisi's rule, are in response to a series of videos which were posted online by Egyptian businessman, Mohamed Ali, and showed al-Sisi allegedly using state resources on a variety of luxury accommodation. At least 2000 protesters have been arrested thus far in the Egyptian government's crackdown. Yesterday, Alaa Abdel Fattah, a leading activist in the current protests, was arrested by authorities just six months after he was released from prison, according to the BBC.
Abdel Fattah was a leading figure in the 2011 revolution which toppled former President Hosni Mubarak and saw the late Mohamed Morsi become Egypt's first democratically elected president. Following that, Abdel Fattah was arrested for organizing a protest without permission and sentenced to five years in prison and released in March of this year. Part of the the conditions of Abdel Fattah's probation was that he spend his nights in prison cell for a period of five years. Yesterday, Abdel Fattah was arrested by officials on charges of publishing faking news and inciting others to protest, according to Aljazeera. He is reportedly being held at the National Security Agency. His sister, Mona Seif, tweeted the following after his arrest:
Since al-Sisi took over from Morsi six years ago in a military coup, the gathering of ten or more people without permission from the government has been illegal—an effective ban on protests altogether. Although security has been tightened and mass arrests are underway, al-Sisi has downplayed the magnitude of the anti-government protests.