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Egypt releases ex-military chief of staff Sami Anan

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

Egyptian authorities have released former military chief of staff Sami Anan after detaining him for almost two years, local media reported yesterday.

Taking to Twitter, the prominent pro-regime parliamentarian, Mostafa Bakri, said Anan was “safe at home”.

Anan’s attorney, Nasser Amin, told reporters that the public prosecutor’s decision had come after the Egyptian regime had refused to ratify two military court rulings against Anan for allegedly “falsifying his candidacy for the 2018 presidential election”.

On his part, Anan’s office manager, Mostafa Al-Shal, told Reuters that Anan was held in a military prison until he suffered a stroke in July 2018 and was then moved to a military hospital in a Cairo suburb where he remained until his release.

READ: First woman dies in Egypt prison

Egyptian authorities have yet to confirm the news.

Anan was appointed chief of staff for the army in 2005. In August 2012, the late President Mohamed Morsi fired him along with the then Defence Minister Mohamed Tantawi.

He was arrested after he announced his intention to run in the 2018 presidential election against the incumbent President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi. The Egyptian authorities accused him at the time of “running for office without permission”, which it had claimed as “a breach of military law”.

Al-Sisi was elected for a second term in 2018, winning 97 per cent of the vote with a turnout of 41 per cent. The election featured only one other candidate, who was a Al-Sisi supporter.

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