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Egyptian Activist Alaa Abd El Fattah Arrested — Again

Alaa Abd El Fattah. Photo by Alaa And El Fattah via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 2.5)

Alaa Abd El Fattah. Photo by Alaa And El Fattah via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 2.5)

Prominent Egyptian activist and blogger Alaa Abd El Fattah was arrested in his home at approximately 10pm on Thursday, November 28. An arrest warrant was issued for Abd El Fattah this past Tuesday, following violent dispersal of protestors in Cairo. The blogger's father told local media he believed the arrest was made under a new law effectively banning street protest in Egypt. At least 51 people were arrested that day, among them several prominent activists. Many were beaten and sexually harrassed.

Alaa was taken by police despite having declared that he'd deliver himself to the police on Saturday, according to a statement he made and that his aunt, renowned Egyptian novelist Ahdaf Soueif, posted on Facebook.

According to his wife, Manal, police used violent force when the arrest took place:

There is no known explanation of why the arrest took place today, given that Alaa had publicly stated that he would turn himself on Saturday.

Human Watch Egypt director Heba Morayef linked his arrest with the anti-protest law, drafted earlier this week:

Hesham Mansour offered his own ironic response:

Don't ask what Egypt has done for us. Ask how many times did Egypt arrest Alaa

Activist Mona Seif, Alaa's sister, informed her followers of her brother's detention location:

We are now sure that Alaa is being held in the CSF barracks in giza, on the Cairo – Alexandria desert road

Alaa Abd El Fattah was jailed under Hosni Mubarak's regime for 45 days and again by the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces in 2011, when he remained in jail for almost two months. He also faced charges under Mohamed Morsi's government in 2013, along with popular satirist Bassem Youssef, in what many perceived to be politically motivated charges used as an intimidation tactic. Each time, the #FreeAlaa hashtag has resurfaced to show solidarity. It seems that this is back on track.

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