Egyptian Dragnet in Wake of Protests Said to Ensnare Children, Foreigners
The Egyptian Commission for Rights and Freedoms says at least 3,100 people have been arrested since scattered street protests against alleged government corruption broke out in Egypt late last month. In a report on the arrests, The Guardian also cites Amnesty International as saying that over 100 of the people arrested have been minors, “some as young as 11, with several detained on their way home from school.” One tactic by security forces is to examine cellphones at checkpoints for material deemed to be of a “political” nature. According to the Guardian report, foreigners have been caught up in the arrests. The detainees include “two British and American university students who had come to Cairo to study Arabic, and were later accused of espionage.” The street protests began when a self-exiled businessman claimed online that senior government and military figures were abusing public funds. President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi has denied the allegations.