Egyptian to remain in jail for sharing activist brother's Facebook posts

Egyptian to remain in jail for sharing activist brother's Facebook posts
Hazim Ghonim, the brother of Egyptian activist Wael Ghonim, will remain in prison for 15 days on the orders of Egyptian prosecutors, charged with 'working with a terrorist group'.
2 min read
22 September, 2019
Hazim Ghonim is to remain in prison [Twitter]
An Egyptian rights lawyer says prosecutors have ordered the brother of a well-known US-based Egyptian activist to remain in custody pending an investigation into alleged illegal activities that he took part in.

Wael Ghonim, who ran the Facebook page, We Are All Khaled Said, which helped ignite the 2011 revolution in Egypt, said on Thursday that security forces had arrested his brother Hazem.

Lawyer Mohammed el-Baker said on Sunday that prosecutors ordered Hazim Ghonim to remain in custody for 15 days.

He was held on four charges including “participating in a movement including the Muslim Brotherhood and remnant elements with the intention of carrying out hostile acts” and “working with a terrorist group while knowing its intentions”.

Hazim Ghonim wasn’t presented with any evidence of the charges he was accused of, except some social media posts he shared to his page, according to el-Baker.

He has been held in an unknown location and prevented from contacting his family and lawyers.

While Wael Ghonim was a well-known figure in the 2011 revolution, his brother Hazim has not engaged in any political activity, except the sharing of Wael’s posts and videos on social media.

Wael Ghonim, a former Google executive who now lives in California, played a key role in social media activity during the 2011 revolution and appeared at protests in Tahrir Square. In 2011, he was named one of the 100 most influential people in the world by Time Magazine. However, he has been absent from the media from a long time.

He reappeared on social media this month in a series of YouTube videos which many viewers found disturbing, bare-chested with his head and his eyebrows shaved, engaging in rambling monologues where he said that he had freed himself from all social constraints.

He also used obscene language to insult Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and several other Egyptian personalities, including building contractor Mohammed Ali, whose videos and hashtags exposing corruption helped spark anti-Sisi protests that took place in several Egyptian cities on Friday and Saturday.

It is strongly suspected that Wael’s reappearance on social media and criticism of Sisi was the motivating factor for Hazem’s arrest.

Agencies contributed to this report.

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