Egyptian security officials said Tuesday that they’d arrested eight people, including a former lawmaker and two journalists, accused of links to the banned Muslim Brotherhood movement.
The Interior Ministry said the eight were planning to sow unrest throughout the country this week on the sixth anniversary of the uprising that pushed the late Islamist President Mohammed Morsi from office. The Brotherhood was working with activists on the plot, the ministry said.
Morsi, a Brotherhood member, died in court last week. Rights groups and Turkey’s president alleged he died as a result of authorities’ negligence while he was in prison.
Critics say dissent has largely been silenced under President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, who spearheaded the military-backed public uprising that ousted Morsi. The government denies the claim and says it’s at war with terrorists, a label it’s applied to the Brotherhood.
“The latest wave of arrests targeting critics, opposition leaders, activists and journalists under the guise of counterterrorism is part of the Egyptian authorities’ systematic persecution and brutal crackdown on anyone who dares to criticize them,” said Magdalena Mughrabi, North Africa director of research at the Amnesty International rights group.
The former lawmaker, Ziyad El-Elaimy, served in the legislature after the 2011 uprising that ousted President Hosni Mubarak. One of the journalists had worked on the campaign of an unsuccessful challenger to el-Sissi in the 2013 presidential race.
Print Headline: Egyptians jail 8 for ties to group