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Would-be presidential candidate, ex-Egypt army chief held in military prison

Former Egyptian Chief of Staff Lieutenant General Sami Anan (C) delivers a speech in Cairo, Egypt on 13 March 2014 [Mohammed Bendari/Apaimages]
Former Egyptian Chief of Staff Lieutenant General Sami Anan (C) delivers a speech in Cairo, Egypt on 13 March 2014 [Mohammed Bendari/Apaimages]

General Sami Anan, former Egyptian army chief-of-staff and would-be presidential candidate, was detained by Egyptian authorities on 23 January and is being held at a military prison in Cairo, according to his lawyer on Saturday.

For six days he was incommunicado, after being detained for questioning.

Speaking to Anadolu Agency, Nasir Emin, Anan’s lawyer said he visited the former chief-of-staff at the military prison at Camp Huchstep in eastern Cairo.

Emin said there will be a written statement about the visit on Sunday.

In a televised statement, the army accused Anan of committing several “irregularities” after he announced plans to run for office.

In a video posted on his Facebook account on 19 January, Anan said he will run in the upcoming elections to save Egypt, though the campaign has now been suspended. It remains unclear whether Anan will be permitted to run.

Read: Sami Anan suspends campaign after army pursues legal action

Earlier this month, Ahmed Shafiq, former President Hosni Mubarak’s last prime minister, abruptly announced his withdrawal from the race, saying he was “not the best choice for managing the state’s affairs in the upcoming period”.

Sami Anan was the commander of the Air Defence Forces, before being appointed during the rule of President Hosni Mubarak as Chief of Staff of the Egyptian Armed Forces. He supported the 2013 coup and was dismissed by the ousted president, Mohamed Morsi, in August 2012.

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