Egypt arrests human rights group’s staff in ‘chilling escalation’

Publishedduration22 minutes agoimage copyrightGetty Imagesimage captionKarim Ennarah was reportedly detained while on holiday at a Red Sea resort

A leading human rights group in Egypt says security forces have detained two members of its staff in recent days.

The Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights reported that its director of criminal justice, Karim Ennarah, was arrested on Wednesday in Dahab and taken to an undisclosed location.

Its office manager, Mohammed Basheer, was detained in Cairo on Sunday.

Amnesty International condemned what it called the "chilling escalation" of a crackdown on civil society in Egypt.

Human rights groups say dozens of activists have been targeted with arrests, travel bans and asset freezes under President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi.

Mr Sisi led the military's overthrow of his democratically elected predecessor Mohammed Morsi in 2013 following protests against his rule.

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The EIPR is an independent human rights group whose work covers a variety of political, civil, economic and social issues in Egypt.

On Sunday, the EIPR issued a statement saying security personnel had raided Mr Basheer's home overnight and taken him to a State Security Sector facility, where he was questioned about a visit on 3 November by senior Western diplomats to the EIPR's Cairo office to discuss human rights.

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