Egypt targets relatives of dissidents living abroad

20.11.2019

Human Rights Watch says Egyptian authorities have arrested, raided houses and imposed travel bans against dozens of relatives of dissidents who live abroad, apparently in reprisal for their activism.

The international rights group said on Tuesday that it has documented 28 cases since 2016, which include Muslim Brotherhood leader Haytham Abu Khalil and Mohammed Aly, a self-exiled contractor who raised corruption claims against President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi.

The cases also include well-known activist Wael Ghonim, whose brother, Hazem, was arrested in September after Wael posted videos on Facebook criticising Egyptian security agencies.

Joe Stork, deputy Middle East and North Africa director at HRW, says Egyptian authorities have been "punishing families of opponents abroad'' to stifle dissent.

HRW says that in 13 cases, relatives were accused of joining "terrorist'' groups and disseminating "false news".    (AP)

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