Islamist preacher Safwat Hegazy with army forces following his arrest early on Wednesday 21 August 2013. (Photo: Interior Ministry Media Sector Facebook page)
Islamist preacher Safwat Hegazy and Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) media advisor Murad Ali were both arrested early on Wednesday.
Egypt’s interior ministry announced arresting Hegazy, preacher and Muslim Mulsim Brotherhood supporter, state TV reported, in the vicinity of Siwa town, in Egypt’s western desert, near the borders with Libya.
Fresh photos of Hegazy upon his arrest show he has shaved his beard, only leaving a goatee beard that he has dyed black.
Hegazy has been one of the prominent supporters of Morsi and the Brotherhood. He was known to be present in the pro-Morsi Rabaa El-Adawiya protest camp where he voiced highly controversial statements on the Brotherhood's opponents.
On 7 August, Hegazy, along with senior Brotherhood figure Mohamed El-Beltagi and two field-hospital doctors, were referred to criminal court for allegedly attempting to detain and assault low-rank police officer Mohamed Farouk during a pro-Morsi march in July.
According to the prosecution, Farouk was captured by the defendants while securing the pro-Morsi march. He was then taken to the Islamist Rabaa Al-Adawiya sit-in, where he was severely beaten, the prosecution added.
Meanwhile, Ali was arrested at the Cairo International Airport as he attempted to leave for Rome, but was denied travel. Al-Ahram Arabic news website reported that Ali was under a travel ban.
The FJP is the Brotherhood's political wing.
Several other Brotherhood figures are also being prosecuted for inciting violence in past clashes following their arrest after president Mohamed Morsi's ouster by the military on 3 July after mass protests against him.
Islamist forces, led by the Brotherhood from which Morsi hails, held two six-weeks-long sit-ins in Cairo calling for Morsi's reinstatement before they were violently dispersed by the police last week leaving over 600 people dead. They continue to voice their demands in demonstrations this week.
Late on Monday, Brotherhood Supreme Guide Mohamed Badie was also arrested. He is expected to stand trial on 25 August with five other leading Brotherhood figures, including deputy guide Khairat El-Shater, on charges of inciting murder at the Brotherhood headquarters clashes last June.