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Egypt renews pre-trial detention of prominent scholar's daughter

Ola Al-Qaradawi, daughter of the Chairman of the International Union of Muslim Scholars, Sheikh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi, and her husband [Safa.ps]
Ola Al-Qaradawi, daughter of the Chairman of the International Union of Muslim Scholars, Sheikh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi, and her husband [Twitter]

The Egyptian authorities yesterday renewed the pre-trial detention of Ola Al-Qaradawi for a period of 45 days. The daughter of prominent Islamic scholar Sheikh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi has already been detained for four years.

Al-Qaradawi's lawyer, Ahmed Abu El-Ela Madi, said that the extension was issued after allegations that she has "broadcast and published false news, as well as joined a terror group."

"Ola's detention renewal comes after being held for four years and three months pre-trial," said Madi on Facebook. He noted that she has gone on a hunger strike "in protest at the periodic renewal of her detention after completing a 24-month pre-trial detention period stipulated in Egyptian law."

READ: Egypt pardons thousands of prisoners to commemorate 1973 war

Since her arrest with her husband in June 2017, Ola Al-Qaradawi has been held in solitary confinement. Her health is reported to have deteriorated, which has been ignored by the prison authorities. She and her husband are accused of belonging to the Muslim Brotherhood, which Egypt banned and designated as a terrorist organisation following the 2013 military coup. They deny the charges.

The maximum period that detainees are allowed to be held in pre-trial detention in Egypt is two years. Even then, it is only supposed to be used in an emergency.

Since assuming office, President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi has arrested thousands of his political opponents and critics. They include alleged Islamist militants and secular human rights activists. Al-Sisi claims that his actions are directed at terrorists and saboteurs trying to undermine the state.

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