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Egypt arrests economist after critical book

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi attends a signing ceremony following his talks with Russian President in Sochi on October 17, 2018. (Photo by Pavel Golovkin / POOL / AFP)

Egyptian police on Sunday arrested economist Abdel Khalek Farouk after the publication of his book critically analysing the country’s economic and social crises, a lawyer said.

Farouk announced last week that the security forces had confiscated copies of his latest book entitled “Is Egypt Really a Poor Country?”.

“He was officially arrested and will be presented to the state security prosecutor tomorrow because of this book,” said Gamal Eid, a lawyer who heads the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information.

The prosecutor would specify the main charges against Farouk on Monday, Eid told AFP.

Following his detention, police had verbally informed him that the book was the reason they had taken him in, the lawyer added.

Since President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi came to power in 2014, human rights groups have accused Egyptian authorities of muzzling all dissent.

The authorities say they aim to fight against terrorism and the “spreading of false information”.

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