Egypt arrests economist over critical book


EGYPT: Egyptian police on Sunday have arrested economist Abdel Khalik Farouk after the publication of his book in which he is critically analysing the country’s economic and social crises, the author’s wife and a lawyer said.

Farouk’s detention came days after local media reported that copies of his book titled, “Is Egypt really a poor country?” were seized by authorities from a publisher, Al Jazeera reported.

Farouq’s wife told the Reuters news agency that three policemen who came to their home said the arrest was in connection with the book.

She was later allowed to deliver food, medicine and clothes to him at a local police station, she said.

“He was officially arrested and will be presented to the state security prosecutor tomorrow because of this book,” the AFP news agency cited Gamal Eid, a lawyer, as saying.

According to Eid, who heads the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information, the prosecutor would specify the main charges against Farouk on Monday.

Since President Abdel Fattah el-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”.