Egyptian human rights activist Hossam Bahgat said today, Thursday, that the security authorities in Egypt have arrested two members of the family of former parliamentarian Ahmed Tantawi, who announced last month his intention to run in the upcoming presidential elections.
Bahgat, the official of the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights, wrote on his Twitter account that the security services arrested Muhammad Naguib al-Tantawi and Muhammad Sayed Ahmed Attia, uncles of former MP Ahmed al-Tantawi from Kafr al-Sheikh, in northern Egypt, adding that they and others were interrogated by the State Security Prosecution.
Bahgat stated that “the campaign of arrests included a number of friends and supporters of Tantawi and members of his constituency, as well as two of his uncles.”
Tantawi left Egypt since last August to the Lebanese capital, Beirut, and last month announced his intention to return to Egypt on the sixth of May, as well as his intention to run for the presidential elections next year.
Tantawi wrote on Facebook last month, “My firm intention and determination to run in the 2024 presidential elections remains valid if I am not prevented directly (that the day of candidacy will open while I am alive, free and correct) or indirectly (that the electoral process be serious and real, for I am on my covenant with you.” I did not and will not participate in farce)”.
The arrests coincided with the start of the “National Dialogue” sessions, yesterday, Wednesday, which called for Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, with the participation of personalities, political parties and factions.
In the opening session, prominent Egyptian politician Amr Moussa said, “People are asking about freedoms and their guarantees. The time has come to deal directly, immediately and comprehensively with the pre-trial detention file in order to close it permanently.”
Human rights organizations estimate the number of political prisoners in Egypt at about 60,000, but the Egyptian authorities deny this.