Egypt detains eight for funding plot to overthrow government

Egyptian President and African Union Chairman Abdel Fattah al-Sisi gives a joint press conference with the Ivorian president at the presidential palace in Abidjan, on April 11, during the Egyptian president's visit to Ivory Coast. (Photo credit ISSOUF SANOGO/AFP/Getty Images)
Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Eight people have been detained by the Egyptian authorities on accusations of belonging to the Muslim Brotherhood and helping to fund a plot to overthrow the state, a judicial source told AFP.

Those being held included businessmen, journalists and political figures, who have been placed in temporary detention for 15 days, the source said, while Amnesty International described the “chilling” arrests as politically motivated.

The detentions came after the interior ministry said 19 businesses were raided by police on Tuesday in the capital Cairo and the cities of Alexandria and Ismaila.

The raids were in response to the businesses allegedly funding a plot “intent on overthrowing the state and its institutions” this month, the interior ministry said in a statement.

They were part of a plan along with groups “claiming to represent civil political forces” which sought to carry out “violent acts and unrest against the state”, it added.