Egypt’s Supreme State Security Prosecution ordered a prominent former government supporter turned critic be detained on Sunday for investigation into charges of “spreading false news deliberately on the political and economic affairs of the country” and of joining an outlawed group, a judicial source told Ahram Online.
Hazem Abdel-Azim, once a leading figure in El-Sisi’s 2014 presidential campaign, was accused of joining an outlawed group that aims to suspend the constitution and the law and hinder state institutions in carrying out their duties.
He was also accused of publishing false news, information, and statements--both deliberately and in malice--on different media outlets and on his private accounts on social media, on Egyptian affairs, in order to disturb public order and shake the confidence in state institutions.
The prosecution said it has initiated investigations into Abdel-Azim following his arrest, after an arrest warrant in light of investigations carried out by security agencies.
He was ordered detained for 15 days.
Once a senior advisor for the telecommunications minister in 2007 under then-president Hosni Mubarak, Abdel-Azim has recently become a critic of the current government and its policies.
Last week, the same prosecutorial body ordered well-known blogger and journalist Wael Abbas detained for 15 days pending investigations into similar charges, including "broadcasting false news, information and statements with the aim of disturbing public peace and undermining trust in state institutions.”