More Dostour Party members, Revolutionary Socialists arrested

Two more members of the Dostour Party and a member of Egypt’s Revolutionary Socialists are among the most recent to be arrested amid a crackdown on political figures critical of government policies.

Young Revolutionary Socialist and secretary of Banha University student union’s cultural committee, Omar Sayed, was reportedly arrested during a police raid on his home in Khankha, Qalyubia, in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

Security forces did not have a warrant for his arrest and his location is currently unknown, according to a statement by the Revolutionary Socialists.

The Revolutionary Socialists began in the late 1990s among Egyptian students. Its membership increased in 2011, but members have since dwindled and kept a lower profile. 

“Omar is known for his leftist views,” Revolutionary Socialist Hesham Fouad says, adding that he has likely been detained for his student activism. “These days they appear to be arresting just about anybody who is involved in politics,” he asserts.

Others have been involved in relation to their anticipated involvement in the 2018 presidential election, Fouad says, mentioning the case of lawyer and former presidential candidate Khaled Ali, who was detained overnight Tuesday by the prosecution and released on bail Wednesday morning, pending a court summons Monday.

The Dostour Party reported the arrests of two other members on Tuesday in the Nile delta city of Mahalla — Karim Horus and Shady al-Rakhawy — who have been reportedly involved in political activism in the area for years.

The Dostour Party, founded by Mohamed ElBaradei in 2012, has a large base of young members. The party officially endorsed Hamdeen Sabbahi in the 2014 presidential election.

On Saturday, Dostour Party member Ahmed Abdel Wahab was also arrested from Edku in Aswan with no formal charges, and member Ahmed Hefny was acquitted Tuesday of charges relating to insulting the president and spreading false news, after his arrest from Port Said on May 15.

The Dostour Party announced the establishing of a prisoner support fund to assist its recently imprisoned members. The party has also planned a conference — “Political Activism is Not a Crime” — which they intend to hold on May 31.

Both the Dostour Party and Revolutionary Socialists released statements in support of Khaled Ali after his arrest and expressed their solidarity with the political party he established, the Bread and Freedom Party amid the recent crackdown.

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