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Egypt arrests relatives of American activist Mohamed Soltan

The latest arrests come three months after Egypt released Soltan's cousins from arbitrary detention.

Egyptian security forces have raided the homes of Egyptian-American activist Mohamed Soltan’s relatives and arrested two of his cousins in what his US-based advocacy group Freedom Initiative described as a “campaign of retaliatory aggression.” 

In June, Soltan filed a federal lawsuit against a former Egyptian prime minister, Hazem el-Beblawi, accusing Beblawi of orchestrating Soltan's torture during the nearly two years Soltan was held as a political prisoner in Cairo. Days after the lawsuit was filed, Egypt arrested five of Sultan's cousins in what he said was an attempt at pressuring him into dropping the suit. In November, they were temporarily released in what was seen as a possible goodwill gesture to the incoming Biden administration. 

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