Egyptian police forces have detained Abdul Moneim Aboul, an ex-Presidential candidate and a notable opposition figure for his links with the banned Muslim Brotherhood group. He has been detained for 15 days as per the State Security Prosecution to fulfil all the due investigations mainly related to a terrorist outfit and also false news propaganda both domestically and internationally.
The arrest has been triggered by a complaint of a lawyer after the appearance of Abdul Moneim Aboul on a TV show in which the latter is accused of spreading fake news and thereby belittling President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi. He has been arrested along with six members of his Strong Egypt Party from Cairo namely Ahmed Abdel Jawad, Ahmed Salem, Mohamed Osman, Abdul Rahman Haridi, Ahmed Imam and Tamer Gilani. This is the latest in the Egyptian governmental crackdown on political leaders or governmental critics. These arrests are sure to undermine the fair and free elections which are scheduled for next month in Egypt as the President is all set for another term. Many hopeful candidates have either been threatened, intimidated or even forcibly asked to drop out which has created a vacuum in the opposition ranks.
The silencing of opposition due to the unfair government policies and growing public resentment have rendered the elections as a sham. Although the relations between US and Egypt have eased under Trump Presidency, political analysts around the world have demanded the US should take suitable measures to hold Sisi administration responsible for various abuses of human rights against journalists, civilians and also political opposition. These trends if continued provide more meat for simmering discontent and instability. This can be an alarming situation for a nation which has been fighting an insurgency in the thinly populated Sinai Peninsula-a situation which gained more ground after Morsi government was overthrown in 2013.
Sisi administration has since then resorted to brute force strategy which had further destabilised the economy along with mass displacements and destruction of agriculture. Egypt has sunk further into chaos under Sisi which is apparent by the recent pressure on opposition figures. Silencing few voices will eventually intensify the factors which are behind them. US has to step up its attitude and needs to remind the Egyptian government of its obligations under international UN treaties and respecting freedom of expression.