Egypt arrests author, publisher on ‘fake news’ charges: report

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An author in Egypt and his publisher were arrested over a book challenging the country’s economic policies, Egypt said Tuesday, according to the Associated Press.

Abdel-Khaleq Farouq, an economist, and his publisher, Ibrahim el-Khateib, now face charges of publishing “fake news,” the AP reported. Farouq’s book, titled “Is Egypt Really a Poor Country?”, was posted online by activists, according to the AP. It has not yet been published.

{mosads}The AP reported that the book features criticism of Egypt President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi and his economic policies, arguing that the country’s economy has faltered because of the military’s monopoly of power.

Farouq challenges el-Sissi’s claims that Egypt was a poor country and needed to cut subsidies, which were previously a “cornerstone” of the country’s economic policies to help poor people, according to the AP.

Farouq writes that el-Sissi’s claims about Egypt’s poverty “exposed blatant ignorance of the realistic and untapped capabilities in Egypt’s economy and society and the lack of vision capable of exploiting these abilities and potential.”

Farouq and his publisher were detained Sunday, and Farouq was questioned by authorities for seven hours, his lawyers told the AP. 

According to the AP, the arrest of Farouq is the latest in a series of crackdowns against dissent. 


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