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Tags: Egypt | Activist

Egypt Extends Detention of Activist Who Criticized President

Egypt Extends Detention of Activist Who Criticized President

Saturday, 22 February 2020 08:37 AM EST

CAIRO (AP) — Egyptian prosecutors on Saturday extended the detention of an activist and vocal critic of President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi, the activist's lawyer said.

Police detained Patrick George Zaki, 28, an Egyptian student at the University of Bologna in Italy, after he arrived in Cairo earlier this month on what was supposed to be a brief visit home. He was ordered to remain in custody pending an investigation into allegations of disseminating false news and calling for unauthorized protests. Zaki has denied the claims against him.

Zaki told his lawyers he’d been tortured with electric shocks, beaten and blindfolded during interrogations about his activism, according to the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights. The group previously employed Zaki as a gender rights researcher and is now providing him legal representation.

The country’s top prosecutor denied the torture allegations, saying that Zaki did not report that he was “harmed or violated during his arrest or detention” when he spoke to the public prosecution on Feb. 8, the day after his arrest.

His defense attorney Lubna Darwish told The Associated Press that prosecutors renewed Zaki’s detention for another 15 days. The EIPR also reported the renewal.

El-Sissi’s government has arrested thousands of people since coming to power in 2013. Most of those were Islamists, but prominent secular activists have also been detained.

El-Sissi has rolled back freedoms won during the uprising in 2011, part of the so-called Arab Spring. Egyptian prosecutors now have broad powers to keep people detained for months and even years without ever filing charges or presenting evidence. Egypt also outlawed all unauthorized protests in 2013.

Zaki’s detention has dredged up painful memories of the 2016 disappearance in Egypt of 28-year-old Italian researcher Giulio Regeni. His body was found several days later by the side of a highway near Cairo with torture marks that activists and rights groups say resembled the results of widespread torture practices in Egyptian detention facilities.

© Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


GlobalTalk
Egyptian prosecutors on Saturday extended the detention of an activist and vocal critic of President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi, the activist's lawyer said.Police detained Patrick George Zaki, 28, an Egyptian student at the University of Bologna in Italy, after he arrived in...
Egypt,Activist
320
2020-37-22
Saturday, 22 February 2020 08:37 AM
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