Egyptian military arrests leading Revolutionary Socialist member

Reem Gehad , Thursday 5 Sep 2013

Charges against Haytham Mohamadein, who is being detained at a police station in Suez, remain unclear

Labour lawyer Haytham Mohamadein, a leading member of Egypt’s Revolutionary Socialists, was arrested at a military checkpoint close to Suez and is currently being detained, the group announced on Thursday.

Mohamadein, who is also a member of El-Nadeem Centre for Rehabilitation of Victims of Violence, was on his way from Cairo to Suez on Thursday when he was arrested at a military checkpoint on Suez Road. He was then transferred to Attaqa police station in Suez.

Mohamadein is expected to be referred to the prosecution on Friday. The charges he faces are yet to be officially confirmed and the army has not made any statements yet on the issue.

Aida Seif El-Dawla of El-Nadeem centre told Ahram Online that Mohamadein spoke with her shortly after his arrest.  

“He told me that army forces stopped him at the checkpoint and took hold of his bag, which contained documents and legal records of his clients,” she said. “He refused this action.”

Meanwhile, reports have been circulating about the charges Mohamadein may be facing.

The Revolutionary Socialists' official Facebook page states that there are unconfirmed reports that Mohamadein faces “forged” charges of “attacking an army soldier on duty.” Similarly, NGO the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information claimed in a statement that an army officer filed a report against Mohamadein accusing him of verbally assaulting him.

However, Seif El-Dawla says that Mohamadein did not tell her about any conflict with the forces at the checkpoint.

Mohamadein was interviewed on Al Jazeera Mubashar Masr channel on Friday, during which he expressed his opposition to what he described as the "military leadership” of Egypt’s interim government.

“[Army commander-in-chief] General Abdel Fattah El-Sisi is leading a counter-revolution under the cover of suppressing Islamists in the streets,” he said. “The Mubarak regime is being revived again.”

He also commented on the recent re-emergence of military trials saying, that “the military are obstructing the revolution and rejecting its demands.”

The Revolutionary Socialists supported the anti-Morsi Rebel (Tamarod) campaign and was part of the organising committee for the 30 June protests against president Mohamed Morsi. Following the mass nationwide protests, the military ousted Morsi on 3 July.

However, the group has criticised calls for the army to play a role in politics and maintains its opposition to military rule as well as to the rule of Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood. 

Egypt is currently under a state of emergency which was introduced after violence broke out following a deadly crackdown on pro-Morsi protest camps in Cairo by security forces on 14 August. This was accompanied by an overnight curfew in 14 governorates. 

The army has been deployed on the streets at security checkpoints since then, particularly at strategic areas such as Suez, near the Suez Canal.  

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