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Syndicate leader referred to prosecution for ‘insulting president’ - Daily News Egypt

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Syndicate leader referred to prosecution for ‘insulting president’

Defendant was arrested by state security for anti-government posts

Mahmoud Rehan, Vice President of the Worker’s Independent Syndicate was arrested at Cairo International Airport and referred Tuesday to Al-Nozha prosecution, said his lawyer Sameh Samir.

He was arrested over charges of “insulting the country’s president” and “revealing secrets that harm national security on his personal Facebook account”, Samir said.

Rehan is expected to be interrogated by prosecution on Thursday, Samir told Daily News Egypt.

“He was arrested from his work by state security forces and charged with being a member of the Muslim Brotherhood group,” Samir added. “He was interrogated while not having a lawyer, which is a violation of the law and the constitution.”

Samir added that the prosecution refused “Muslim Brotherhood” charges against Rehan, and accused him only of insulting the president through social media.

Samir said Rehan was never a member of the banned Muslim Brotherhood, and vocally opposed the regime of former president Mohamed Morsi and was subjected to harassment by the authorities at the time.

The defendant is known for criticising the current regime’s policies against freedoms and labour rights, the Revolutionary Socialists movement said Tuesday on their official page.

The group added: “Recently the government has been using the charge of ‘belonging to the Muslim Brotherhood’ to persecute any members of the opposition.”

The Ministry of Interior has been arresting suspects over charges of “inciting violence”, “insulting the country’s leading figures”, and “calling for protests”, through social media.
The lack of freedom of speech in Egypt has been widely criticised by human rights organisations.

Last week Egypt has been provided with 300 recommendations by the United Nations Human Rights Council, following its Universal Periodic Review (UPR) in Geneva.

The list includes recommendations relating to the controversial Protest and NGO Laws, media freedoms, freedom of association, the use of the death penalty, and women’s rights.

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