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Egypt orders blogger be detained for 15 days

May 24, 2018

Egypt’s public prosecutor on Thursday ordered that blogger and journalist Wael Abbas, known for standing up against police violence, be detained for 15 days following his arrest, his lawyer said.

Tarek al-Awdi said his client, arrested at his Cairo home at dawn on Wednesday, had been questioned over alleged involvement in helping a “terror group achieve its objectives” and spreading “fake news”.

The blogger was on Thursday ordered to remain in detention for 15 days, he added.

Abbas has been posting online about police violence, torture and corruption on social media for more than a decade.

He was particularly active during the January 2011 street protests that toppled president Hosni Mubarak.

His Twitter account was suspended in December 2017.

In a statement Wednesday evening, Reporters Without Borders head Christophe Deloire said Egyptian authorities must guarantee Abbas’s “physical and psychological integrity and must quickly provide information on his current status”.

Since 2013, international human rights groups have criticised President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s government for cracking down on secular and left-wing activists, as well as Islamists close to the banned Muslim Brotherhood.

Sisi was re-elected in March after securing more than 97 percent of the vote.

Abbas’s arrest follows that of two other bloggers earlier this month, Sherif Gaber and Shadi Abuzeid.

ist group achieve its objectives” and spreading “fake news”.

The blogger was on Thursday ordered to remain in preventative detention for 15 days, he added.

Dispatches from AFP concerning freedom of information, censorship and news coverage in regions where independent media is under threat.