Egyptian security forces arrested professor of political science at Cairo University Hazem Hosni this morning.
In a series of posts on Facebook in the days leading up to his arrest the prominent academic wrote in support of the army contractor Mohamed Ali, whose videos have sparked countrywide protests, saying he played an important role in uncovering corruption.
However, he said that no matter what the level of anger is against President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi on the Egyptian street, the international position against him will never change.
Just yesterday the human rights watchdog Amnesty International called on world leaders to stop Al-Sisi’s repressive crackdown on protesters after security forces blocked news sites covering the demonstrations and have rounded up journalists, activists and politicians.
Members of the Istiqlal Party have been arrested, as has the prominent human rights lawyer Mahienour El-Massry and the journalist Hassan El-Kabany.
Some 964 Egyptians have been arrested since the protests began on 20 September, according to the Egyptian Centre for Economic and Social Rights.
Rights groups have long called on global leaders to stop putting trade and arms deals above human rights as they continue to strengthen ties with the Egyptian regime.
Hazem is the former spokesman of General Sami Anan, the former chief of staff of the armed forces who was arrested after announcing he intended to run in the 2018 presidential elections against Al-Sisi.
His incarceration was part of a coordinated effort to flush out election contenders from the race. At the time leading opposition figures and a former diplomat who called for a referendum on the Sisi government were also detained.
Observers have pointed out that once again the Sisi regime is shaken by the outbreak of protests and the challenge to his rule and is cracking down on protesters and prominent figures in attempt to disrupt and end further demonstrations.
Ali has called for a million-man march on Friday and for protesters to fill all squares of the country to put pressure on the general to stand down.