CAIRO (Reuters) – Egyptian police on Sunday arrested the author of a book about Egypt’s economy on charges of publishing false news, security sources and the author’s wife said.
Abdul Khalik Farouk’s detention came days after local media reported that draft copies of his book, “Is Egypt Really a Poor Country?”, which includes criticism of the government’s economic policies, were seized by authorities from a publisher.
A spokesman for Egypt’s interior ministry could not immediately be reached for comment. Two security sources said Farouk was arrested on orders of the public prosecutor. The public prosecutor’s office and the book’s publisher could not immediately be reached for comment late on Sunday.
Farouk’s wife told Reuters that three policemen who took him from their home in a Cairo suburb told her they were detaining him in connection with the book.
She was later allowed to deliver food, medicine and clothes to him at a local police station, she said.
Since President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi came to power in 2014, Egypt has seen a crackdown on dissent that activists say is unprecedented in the country’s modern history.
Sisi’s supporters say he is working to keep Egypt stable after years of political and economic turmoil following a 2011 popular uprising.
(Reporting by Ahmed Mohamed Hassan and Mahmoud Mourad; Writing by Aidan Lewis; Editing by Daniel Wallis)