By Hussein Qabani
CAIRO (AA) – The family of former presidential candidate Abdel Moneim Abul-Fotouh has called on Egyptian authorities to immediately release him.
Abul Fotouh was detained on Wednesday, one day after he returned from London where he attacked the regime of President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi during an interview with the Qatar-funded Al Jazeera television.
Egyptian authorities accuse Abul Fotouh of collaborating with the now-outlawed Muslim Brotherhood group to plot unrest ahead of the country’s presidential election next month.
"We call on the ruling regime of President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi to immediately release him,” his family said in a statement.
The family described a recent statement by the Egyptian Interior Ministry about charges against Abul Fotouh as “full of fallacies”.
The family said the Interior Ministry statement describing Abul Fotouh as a Brotherhood leader was “part of a policy of deception”.
The family stressed that Abul Fotouh had split from the Brotherhood since 2011.
A Brotherhood spokesman had earlier denied the charges against Abul Fotouh, saying the accusations were part of attempts to “demonize” the opposition leader.
Abul-Fotouh had been imprisoned several times during the reign of former autocrat Hosni Mubarak, who was forced from power by a popular uprising in 2011.
He had run in the 2012 presidential election, in which Brotherhood leader Mohamed Morsi was elected president. Morsi was later deposed by the military in 2013 in a military coup.