The campaign team of potential presidential candidate Lieutenant General Sami Anan has announced it will temporarily suspend its activities in response to the Egyptian army's announcement that Anan will be investigated for three serious violations.
Anan and 30 members of his team were arrested in Cairo yesterday after the army summoned the former armed forces chief of staff for questioning over his intention to run for president.
Candidates challenging Al-Sisi in the upcoming election describe a sweeping effort to kill off their campaigns through attacks in the media and the intimidation of their supporters. Former prime minister Ahmed Shafik and the nephew of the assassinated President Sadat have both withdrawn their election bids whilst lawyer Khalid Ali faces being disqualified.
Anan's team said it was keen on "maintaining the safety and security of all citizens who dream of change," without mentioning further details about the arrests.
Spokesman for Anan Mahmoud Refaat called on EU officials to "stop the terrorism of Al-Sisi".
#Egypt : Mr #SamiAnan the presidential candidate has been arrested & yesterday 30 persons of his campaign by #Alsisi regime.. STOP #Terrorism of #Sisi. I charge the regime the entire responsibility of their safety @Europarl_EN@eucopresident@EUCouncil@congressdotgov
— Mahmoud Refaat (@DrMahmoudRefaat) January 23, 2018
Anan is accused of declaring his candidacy without the consent of the armed forces, incitement against the armed forces through his candidacy, and forging official papers to include his name on voter checklists.
The military have issued a gag order on media coverage of Anan's arrest.
In a TV statement last Saturday Anan announced his intention to run for presidency due to deteriorating living conditions and a number of misguided policies introduced by the armed forces.
It was not possible to get an immediate comment from Anan on the Egyptian army's statement, while Refaat confirmed that the Egyptian security authorities had indeed arrested Anan.
Major General Sayed Hashim, former head of Egyptian military justice, has said that possible sanctions against Anan range from imprisonment to expulsion from military service.