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Wednesday, 13 December 2017

Detained Strong Egypt Party official under investigation for 'inciting protests': Lawyer

Hossam El-Naggar is charged with membership in the Brotherhood and calling for protests on the sixth anniversary of the 2011 revolution

Hadeer El-Mahdawy , Monday 23 Jan 2017
A member of Masr El-Qaweya party Hossam El-Nagar (Photo: https://www.facebook.com/MisrAlQawia/)
A member of Masr El-Qaweya party Hossam El-Nagar (Photo: https://www.facebook.com/MisrAlQawia/)
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Alexandrian prosecutors have ordered the detention of a local official in the Strong Egypt Party for 15 days on suspicion of calling for protests, three days after he was arrested.

Hossam El-Naggar, the head of the party’s Alexandrian branch, was arrested on Thursday at his house in Alexandria, the party had said in a Facebook page statement on Saturday.

El-Naggar’s lawyer, Mohamed Hafez, told Ahram Online that he had been ordered to be detained for fifteen days by Alexandrian prosecutors on Sunday.

He is being investigated, alongside 14 other detainees, for allegedly "calling for protests on the sixth anniversary of the revolution [25 January], membership of the Muslim Brotherhood, and promoting the Brotherhood’s ideas," Hafez said.

"The case under which El-Naggar is being investigated is a new case that includes 114 other names. I was not allowed to check the names, but the 14 arrested with El-Naggar are students, lawyers, and ordinary people who do not belong to the party," said Hafez.

According to the Saturday statement by the opposition party, "El-Naggar was arrested from his house in Alexandria on Thursday by security forces. His house was searched, all without showing permission from the prosecution, while the security forces refused to reveal the location where he would be held in custody."

The party condemned what it called "an extension of unconstitutional and illegal acts," and said it holds the interior ministry responsible for his safety.

"El-Naggar was forcedly disappeared for two days until he showed up in Montazah police station in Alexandria,” said Hafez. “His family and I sent messages to the general prosecution reporting his arrest without a charge," he added.

Mohamed Othman, a member of the party's political bureau, told Ahram Online that he believes the detention was caused by El-Naggar’s support for Alexandrian shipyard workers, who were being subjected to a military trial for organising a strike, as well as his role in the “We want to live” campaign which opposes government economic policies.

"El-Naggar is charged with calling for protests that have not been called for, and for joining the Brotherhood, which is not true,” said Othman.

“[His arrest] is part of the targeting of peaceful and legal political action in Egypt,” added Othman.

Earlier this month a Cairo criminal court issued a list of almost 1,500 persons designated as terrorists, including retired football star Mohamed Abo Treika and prominent activist and Strong Egypt political bureau member Mohamed El-Kasas.

"El-Kasas is not the only member on that list; there are three others, including members of the higher body of the party. All four members left the Brotherhood in January 2011," Othman said.

Othman, who says his party works peacefully in accordance with Egyptian law and constitution and has always rejected and condemned violence, said he believed these acts are intended by the state "to end political action in Egypt." 

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