Egypt: Family says leading pro-democracy activist arrested

Egypt’s leading pro-democracy activist Alaa Abdel-Fattah, one of Egypt’s most respected human rights lawyers, was rearrested by security forces on Sunday, Sept. 29, 2019, while he was under probation. (File/AP/Nariman El-Mofty)
Updated 29 September 2019

Egypt: Family says leading pro-democracy activist arrested

  • A security official says Abdel-Fattah was taken to prosecutors for an investigation into claims he has called for protests
  • His arrest comes amid a wider crackdown on dissent since rare anti-government protests last week

CAIRO: The family of one of Egypt’s most prominent pro-democracy activists, Alaa Abdel-Fattah, says security forces have re-arrested him while he was under probation.
His mother, Laila Soueif, tells The Associated Press that Abdel-Fattah was arrested on Sunday from Dokki police station in Cairo, where authorities have required him to spend the night since his release in March after serving a five-year sentence for taking part in protests in 2013.
A security official says Abdel-Fattah was taken to prosecutors for an investigation into claims he has called for protests. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to brief media.
His arrest comes amid a wider crackdown on dissent since rare anti-government protests last week. Over 2,000 people were arrested, according to lawyers.


Protesters regain control of third bridge in Baghdad

Updated 17 November 2019

Protesters regain control of third bridge in Baghdad

  • Security forces used tear gas and stun bombs to prevent protesters from getting right across Ahrar Bridge in central Baghdad
  • More than 300 people have been killed since the start of mass unrest in Baghdad

BAGHDAD: Iraqi protesters regained control of a third bridge leading to Baghdad’s Green Zone on Sunday, taking further ground in the biggest wave of anti-government demonstrations in decades.
Security forces used tear gas and stun bombs to prevent protesters from getting right across Ahrar Bridge in central Baghdad, part of a weeks-long attempt to disrupt traffic and reach the Green Zone housing government ministry and embassies.
Protesters made a barricade of old cabinets, trash cans and metal sheeting on the bridge while security forces took positions behind blast walls installed to prevent protesters from crossing to the other side. Protesters who choked on the tear gas were evacuated by tuk-tuk, a Reuters cameraman said.
On Saturday, Iraqi demonstrators reoccupied part of adjacent Sinak Bridge and a nearby tall building in Baghdad that security forces had pushed them away from a week before. They have held a third bridge, Jamhuriya, since October 25.
More than 300 people have been killed since the start of mass unrest in Baghdad and southern Iraq in early October, the largest demonstrations since the fall of Saddam Hussein in 2003.
Protesters are demanding the overthrow of a political class seen as corrupt and beholden to foreign interests.
In Basra in the south, dozens of protesters burned tires and briefly blocked some roads on Sunday, before police managed to restore control and reopen them, police said.
The unrest has shattered the relative calm that followed the defeat of Islamic State in 2017.