Son of Egypt ex-president Morsi bailed after arrest

Mohammed Morsi (File: AFP)
Mohammed Morsi (File: AFP)

A son of Egypt's jailed former president Mohamed Morsi was released on bail on Wednesday hours after he was arrested for belonging to a banned group and spreading "fake news", a judicial source said.

Abdullah Morsi, the youngest son of the deposed Islamist president, was arrested at dawn. He was freed by the prosecutor "on bail of $277, the source said.

His father became Egypt's first freely elected leader in 2012, but was overthrown by the military a year later and imprisoned following major protests against his rule. He faces the death penalty.

Abdullah Morsi gave an interview to the Associated Press news agency published earlier this month, complaining that his family has only been allowed to visit his father three times in five years.

He also said in the AP interview that prison authorities had failed to provide the former president with sufficient medical care for diabetes and high blood pressure.

President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi's regime has led a crackdown against Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood movement, which it views as a terrorist organisation.

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Another son of the deposed president, Ossama Morsi, was arrested in 2016 for "incitement to violence" and is in prison.

Abdullah Morsi was arrested at his home early on Wednesday, according to judicial and security sources.

He was presented to the state security prosecutor during the day.

Rights groups frequently accuse Egypt of attempting to silence critics by charging them with belonging to banned groups or disseminating "fake news".

Authorities have denied allegations of human rights abuses and say they are protecting the country's security and stability.

Since Morsi's ouster, jihadist attacks have killed hundreds of police officers, soldiers and civilians.

Security forces have killed hundreds of jihadists since February, according to official sources, as part of a sweeping military campaign in the Sinai Peninsula against hardline militants including members of the Islamic State group.

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