Egyptian prosecutors order activist held for 15 days

In this June 9, 2017 photo provided by Roger Anis, prominent activist and blogger Wael Abbas signs a copy of his book, “The theory of leaving the bowl,” in Cairo, Egypt. Egyptian security officials said Abbas, known for documenting police abuse, was detained, Wednesday, May 22, 2018, the latest in a new wave of arrests since elections earlier this year. The officials said Abbas was held on accusations of disseminating false news and joining an outlawed group, among other charges. (Roger Anis via AP)

CAIRO — Egyptian prosecutors say they have ordered a prominent activist and blogger known for criticizing the government detained for 15 days pending an investigation, the latest episode in Egypt's media crackdown.

The Supreme State Security Prosecution said Thursday that Wael Abbas is suspected of disseminating false news and joining an outlawed group.

Police arrested Abbas on Wednesday after raiding his house in a Cairo suburb.

Abbas has campaigned against torture in Egypt for well over a decade, before and after the 2011 uprising that toppled longtime dictator Hosni Mubarak.

Egypt has arrested a number of activists since President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi won re-election in March facing no serious challengers.

The latest arrests come amid a wider crackdown on dissent in which thousands of people have been jailed.

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