Police in Egypt have arrested Abdul Moneim Aboul Fotouh, a leading opposition figure and former presidential candidate, over his alleged ties with the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood group.
On the orders of the country’s public prosecutor, six other senior members of Fotouh’s Strong Egypt Party (SEP) were also detained in a recent swoop against the outlawed members of the Muslim Brotherhood.
Fotouh’s son has also confirmed his father’s arrest from his home in Cairo on his Facebook page, stating that other party members detained include Ahmed Abdel Jawad, Ahmed Salem, Mohamed Osman, Abdul Rahman Haridi, Ahmed Imam, and Tamer Gilani.
The arrests come days after an Egyptian lawyer submitted a complaint to the public prosecutor, calling for the arrest of Aboul Fotouh after the latter appeared on an Al Jazeera television show from London in a recent interview.
In his complaint, lawyer Samir Sabry accused Aboul Fotouh of “spreading fake news” and demeaning Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.
A former member of the Muslim Brotherhood and leader of the centrist Strong Egypt Party, Aboul Fotouh ran as an independent candidate in the 2012 presidential elections, gaining nearly a fifth of the vote in the first round.
The vote six years ago marked Egypt’s first competitive elections following the 2011 revolution, which overthrew former leader Hosni Mubarak. The el-Sisi led government have cracked down on political leaders including the detention of former President, Hosni Mubarak.