Socialist and journalist Hisham Fouad was one of at least eight activists seized by Egyptian security forces in dawn raids on Tuesday.
He is a well-known figure on the Egyptian left. A leading student activist in the late 1980s and early 1990s, he went on to play a key role in the mid-1990s in a campaign by young journalists to resist control of the Egyptian Journalists’ Union by media owners and managers.
Over the following decades his journalism was vital in mobilising support for the workers’ movement, including for the independent unions which emerged in the late 2000s. Hisham was also a prominent organiser in the movement against war on Iraq in 2003 and in Palestine solidarity activism.
According to a statement from the Egyptian interior ministry, those arrested face charges of directing an “economic conspiracy” aimed at siphoning funds from 19 companies.
Their alleged aim was to fund activities planned by the banned opposition group, the Muslim Brotherhood, coinciding with the anniversary of the 30 June protests which led to the overthrow of Mohamed Morsi in 2013.
Such claims are lies.
Former Social Democratic Party MP and lawyer Ziyad al-Alimi were also reported to have been arrested. Another prominent figure seized in the raids was Hossam Moanis, who was campaign manager for Nasserist politician Hamdeen Sabahy during his presidential election bid in 2012.