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    Three Egyptian activists detained amid wave of arrests: Lawyers

    CAIRO (AP) — Egyptian security forces arrested three political activists known for their outspoken criticism of Egypt’s government and President, defence lawyers said on Wednesday, amid an intensified crackdown on dissent following small but rare anti-government protests over the weekend.

    The demonstrations erupted over corruption allegations earlier this month against the military and President Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi, by an Egyptian businessman living in self-imposed exile.

    El-Sisi has dismissed the corruption allegations as “sheer lies”.

    Police quickly dispersed the protests, but they signified a startling eruption of street unrest. Demonstrations have been almost completely silenced in recent years, with those who dare take to the streets being quickly arrested and receiving lengthy prison sentences.

    Attorneys Nour Farahat and Khaled el-Masry identified the three detained activists as Hazem Hosny, Hassan Nafaa and Khaled Dawoud.

    Hosny and Nafaa are political science professors at Cairo University and were arrested on Tuesday. Hosny also was a spokesman for the 2018 Presidential campaign of Sami Annan, who served as chief-of-staff for former president

    Hosni Mubarak. Annan was detained in January last year.

    Dawoud, a journalist and former head of the liberal al-Dustour party, was arrested on Wednesday.

    Dawoud, Hosny and Nafaa have been brought before prosecutors, according to attorney Khaled Ali.

    A spokesman for the Interior Ministry, which oversees police, could not be reached for comment.

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