mostlycloudy
Tuesday May 22nd, 2018 12:30AM

Egypt arrests ex-anti-graft chief in latest pre-vote turmoil

By The Associated Press

CAIRO (AP) — Egypt's former anti-graft chief was arrested on Tuesday, his lawyer said, the latest development in an upheaval that has roiled the country ahead of next month's presidential election.

The lawyer, Ali Taha, told The Associated Press that Hesham Genena was arrested by police at his home in a Cairo suburb and was later handed over to military prosecutors for questioning.

The arrest came a day after the military said it would take action to safeguard its "honor and dignity" following incendiary comments by Genena in which he claimed in a television interview that former military chief of staff Sami Annan was in possession of documents incriminating the country's "leadership."

Genena, who was to be one of Annan's two top campaign aides, led Egypt's top watchdog agency until el-Sissi fired him in 2016. He is the latest election-related casualty in what appears to be an intensifying campaign against dissent ahead of the vote.

On Jan. 27, Genena was assaulted by three men near his home, sustaining serious eye and knee injuries. He told the AP in an interview last week that he suspected the attack was related to an appeal he planned to file the same day contesting the removal of Annan's name from the list of presidential hopefuls. Authorities said at the time that he was injured in a brawl following a car accident he was involved in.

In the TV interview, Genena had said the alleged documents are kept abroad and would be released if any harm came to Annan.

Annan himself was arrested by the military last month, days after he declared his intention to run for president. The military said he faced charges of incitement against the military and forgery. Genena said he feared for Annan's life in detention.

Annan was among a string of potentially serious challengers to the incumbent, general-turned-president Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, to be arrested or forced out of the race.

Annan's son, Samir, distanced himself from Genena's comments. Speaking on a political talk show on Monday night, he said he trusted the armed forces and claimed that his father was being treated well at the military prison where he is kept.

El-Sissi is virtually certain to win the March vote, with his only challenger an obscure politician and one of his most ardent supporters.

Moussa Mustafa Moussa entered the race in the eleventh hour, sparing el-Sissi and his government the deeper embarrassment of a one-candidate election.

But the pre-election turmoil is not confined to would-be candidates.

Leaders of opposition parties who called for a boycott of the vote are being investigated on allegations they are seeking to destabilize the country.

Over a dozen international and regional rights groups issued a joint statement on Tuesday, saying that the upcoming election does not meet the "minimum requirements" for a fair and free vote and called on Cairo's Western allies to denounce the "farcical" election.

The 14 groups, which include human Rights Watch and the International Commission of Jurists, said el-Sissi's government has "suppressed freedoms, arrested potential candidates and rounded up their supporters."

El-Sissi has since 2013 overseen a wide crackdown on dissent, jailing thousands of Islamists and also scores of activists behind the 2011 uprising that toppled autocrat Hosni Mubarak. The crackdown followed the July 2013 ouster by the military, then led by el-Sissi, of President Mohammed Morsi, an Islamist whose one-year rule proved to be divisive.

Elected to office the following year, el-Sissi has since silenced most critics in the media, rolled back freedoms won by the 2011 uprising and placed draconian restrictions on demonstrations and the work of rights groups.

"The Egyptian government has trampled over even the minimum requirements for free and fair elections for the planned March 26-28 vote," the 14 groups said in a statement. El-Sissi's government "has relentlessly stifled basic freedoms and arrested potential candidates and rounded up their supporters."

"Seven years after Egypt's 2011 uprising, the government has made a mockery of the basic rights for which protesters fought," it added.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Elections, General Presidential Election News, AP World News
© Copyright 2018 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
GM to close auto plant in South Korea in restructuring
General Motors to close factory in Gunsan, South Korea, in restructuring of its operations, plans further investments
8:21AM ( 8 minutes ago )
South Africa's ruling party demands that Zuma resign
South Africa's ruling party demands that scandal-tainted president resign
8:20AM ( 9 minutes ago )
The Latest: Geisenberger defends women's Olympic luge title
Natalie Geisenberger has successfully defended her Olympic women's luge title
8:06AM ( 23 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
10 Things to Know for Today
Among 10 Things to Know: Fiscal conservatives lash out at Republican spending binge; Some win, some lose under Medicare drug plan in Trump budget; Israeli army court closes doors on Palestinian teen's trial
6:28AM ( 2 hours ago )
Democrats retain Minnesota Senate seat in swing territory
Democrats in Minnesota are claiming more evidence of momentum after they retained a state Senate seat in a special election
1:21AM ( 7 hours ago )
Democrats hold Minnesota Senate seat in high-stakes election
Minnesota Democrats have held on to a state Senate seat in a special election, preserving their hopes of retaking the chamber later this year
12:38AM ( 7 hours ago )
AP Elections
US Soccer reboots, elects Carlos Cordeiro president
With World Cup gone, US Soccer reboots and elects Carlos Cordeiro president on 3rd ballot
10:18PM ( 2 days ago )
Democrats see partisanship in GOP Pennsylvania district map
Pennsylvania Democrats say a revised congressional district map being proposed by Republican leaders is too partisan, citing as evidence the results of the 2016 presidential campaign
7:40PM ( 2 days ago )
Judge leans toward asserting right to rule on border wall
A judge who was berated by Donald Trump during the presidential campaign says he's inclined to conclude he can decide a lawsuit that challenges the president's proposed border wall but gave no gave no indication how he'll rule
10:07PM ( 3 days ago )
General Presidential Election News
The Latest: Nuis leads another Dutch double in speedskating
Kjeld Nuis set off at a blistering pace and had more than enough to hold off teammate Patrick Roest to clinch the Netherlands' fourth gold medal in as many Olympic races
7:39AM ( 50 minutes ago )
Palestinian teen goes on trial, Israeli judge bars public
Palestinian teen protest icon goes on trial behind closed doors at Israel military court for slapping soldiers
7:31AM ( 59 minutes ago )
The Latest: Fontana wins women's 500 in short track
Arianna Fontana of Italy has won the women's 500 meters in short-track speedskating
7:29AM ( 1 hour ago )
AP World News
GM to close auto plant in South Korea in restructuring
General Motors to close factory in Gunsan, South Korea, in restructuring of its operations, plans further investments
8:21AM ( 8 minutes ago )
South Africa's ruling party demands that Zuma resign
South Africa's ruling party demands that scandal-tainted president resign
8:20AM ( 9 minutes ago )
The Latest: Geisenberger defends women's Olympic luge title
Natalie Geisenberger has successfully defended her Olympic women's luge title
8:06AM ( 23 minutes ago )
Russian investigators study crashed plane's flight recorders
Russian investigators are studying information from the flight recorders of a Russian passenger plane that crashed near Moscow, killing all 71 people on board
8:02AM ( 27 minutes ago )
The Latest: Top-ranked Klaebo wins cross-country sprint
Johannes Hoesflot Klaebo of Norway has won the gold medal in the classic sprint at the Pyeongchang Olympics. Frederico Pellegrino of Italy edged out Alexander Bolshunov, an Olympic athlete from Russia, in a photo finish to win silver
7:56AM ( 33 minutes ago )