Egyptian police question, release son of jailed ex-president
CAIRO (AP) â" Egyptian authorities detained the youngest son of jailed former President Mohammed Morsi on Wednesday for questioning on charges of publishing âfake news,â then released him on bail.
State security men and a special forces officer took Abdullah Morsi at dawn along with his ID and mobile phone from the family house outside Cairo, his brother Ahmed said. The brother later confirmed that Abdullah Morsi had been released, but said the phone wasnât returned. Neither of the two responded to further requests for comment.
Attorney General Nabil Sadek issued a brief statement late Wednesday ordering the release on bail of 5,000 Egyptian pounds ($280) on the charges after questioning by Egyptâs Supreme State Security Prosecution.
Abdullah Morsi told The Associated Press in an interview last week that he would be pressing a campa ign to seek more visitation rights and better health care for his ailing father, who has been held in solitary confinement since he was overthrown in 2013 by the army, which was led then by current President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi.
Abdullah Morsi, a 25-year-old business student, has been waiting outside Cairoâs notorious Tora prison for hours once a month to leave money for food and necessities for his father, hoping for a chance to see him. But almost every time for five years he has been denied.
The family says it has seen the former president only three times since his arrest, and all in prison visits closely monitored by police officers.
The family says the 67-year-old Morsi is suffering from diabetes and high blood pressure that have been exacerbated by harsh conditions, including sleeping on the floor and years of isolation. Relatives say that at times he has been in a diabetic coma.
Abdullah Morsi said his father has âno idea whatâs going on i n the country since he was arrested, they donât allow him newspapers,â any access to news, or even a pen to write with.
With Morsiâs Muslim Brotherhood Islamist group blacklisted and the family banned from travel, a campaign to improve Morsiâs conditions has been run from London, where several prominent British politicians have backed it.
During his tumultuous year in office, Morsiâs opponents accused the Brotherhood of trying to use election victories to dominate the state. Morsi cracked down at times on protesters and used executive powers to force through policies, but he never managed to control the levers of power, facing opposition in the courts and among police.
In the end, his opponents organized mass demonstrations against his rule, and it was against this backdrop that el-Sissi overthrew him.
Since then, the government has largely crushed the Brotherhood with a heavy crackdown. Tens of thousands of Egyptians have been arrested since 20 13, the vast majority of them accused of working with or for the group, says the U.S.-based Tahrir Institute for Middle East Policy.
Vaguely worded legislation in Egypt allows wide-ranging prosecution on accusations of âfake news.â
Authorities have over the past year blocked some 500 websites, including those of independent media and rights groups. Authorities have claimed such websites supported âterrorismâ or reported âfake news.â
Egypt was ranked 161 out of 180 countries in the 2017 Press Freedom Index, according to Reporters Without Borders advocacy group.
Parliament has passed a bill targeting popular social media accounts that authorities accuse of publishing âfake news,â the latest move in a five-year-old drive to suppress dissent and silence independent sources of news.Source: Google News Eg ypt | Netizen 24 Egypt