Egyptian Security authorities announced Wednesday the arrest of Moneim Aboul-Fotouh, an ex-presidential candidate and vocal critic of President al-Sisi whom he urged step down for failing to address the country’s challenges.
The candidate in the 2012 post revolution election was arrested upon his return from London where he gave an interview criticizing President al-Sisi and his regime.
Aboul-Fotouh faces charges of communicating with the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood and calling for the removal of the regime.
Cairo banned in 2013 the Islamist organization following the ouster of first democratically elected President Mohamed Morsi, himself a senior member of the movement.
Aboul-Fotouh lashed out at President al-Sisi in the Sunday interview with Doha-based al-Jazeera. He accused the Egyptian leader of preventing challengers from running against him in next month presidential election.
Egypt has banned Qatar-based news network that it accused of inciting uprising.
Aboul-Fotouh is leader of Strong Egypt Party; an opposition party that joined other prominent political movements last month in calling for March election boycott. The parties criticize the coming elections as a one-horse race.
President al-Sisi is sure to win the polls almost unchallenged, as his only opponent stepped in just to credit the elections.
Six aides of Aboul-Fotouh have been also detained, one week after the party’s deputy leader Mohamed al-Qassas was held.
Aboul-Fotouh’s arrest occurred amid ongoing crackdown on dissent. Authorities Tuesday rounded up Hisham Geneina, the former head of the anti-corruption watchdog.
Geneina has been remanded in prison after he suggested that ex-general and former candidate in March election, Sami Anan, has secret documents that implicate regime officials.
Anan abruptly scrapped his candidacy for next month elections after the army arrested him for violating military law, for failing to inform the army of his presidential bid.