Egypt arrests author, publisher over book on economy

Egyptian security officials are reporting that an economist and his publisher have been arrested over a book that challenged President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi's assertion that Egypt is a poor country.

The officials said on Tuesday that prize-winning economist Abdel-Khaleq Farouq and his publisher Ibrahim el-Khateib were detained on Sunday.

Officials say the two face charges of publishing "fake news." They spoke on condition of anonymity as they were not authorised to brief the media.

The book criticizes al-Sisi for what it says is his lack of vision to remedy Egypt's economic woes, which Farouq blames on the military's monopoly of power since 1952.

The arrests are the latest in Egypt's crackdown on dissent, which followed the 2013 ouster by the military, then led by al-Sisi, of a freely elected but divisive Islamist president.

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