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Sources: Egyptian authorities detain a human rights activist

UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY) – Egypt’s public prosecutor on Tuesday ordered the detention of a leading rights activist for 15 days in custody on charges of joining a terrorist group, the official MENA news agency reported.

Lawyer Rajia Omran said her client, Shadi Ghazali Harb, a leading opposition figure during the 2011 uprising, surrendered to Dokki’s prosecutor on Monday for questioning on charges of insulting state institutions and spreading false news on social networking sites.

The lawyer said the public prosecutor ordered him to be released on bail of 50,000 Egyptian pounds ($ 2,812.15) on Monday but remained in custody in another case involving state security.

She said the public prosecutor interrogated him for several hours on Tuesday in a case involving two other activists arrested by the authorities in the past few weeks.

The lawyer and a source from the Attorney General’s Office said Ghazali Harb was accused of joining a terrorist group and using social media to incite terrorism and spreading false news that would disturb public security and harm the public interest.

Human rights groups have repeatedly criticized Egypt’s human rights record, saying conditions in Egypt were deteriorating under President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who came to power in 2014 after the military dismissed President Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood in the wake of mass protests against his rule.

Sisi’s supporters say his strict security and economic measures are necessary to maintain the country’s stability out of political chaos and face serious economic challenges and Islamist militancy.