Rights lawyers: Egypt frees more than 200 held in crackdown

CAIRO (AP) — Egyptian rights lawyers say authorities have released over 200 people who were among hundreds more arrested in a crackdown following small but rare anti-government protests last month.

Lawyers Mustafa el-Demiry and Mohamed el-Sarawe say the people were released on Tuesday, pending an investigation into claims they took part in activities of an outlawed Islamist group and disseminating false news on social media platforms.

Egyptian Center for Economic and Social Rights reported that 17 other suspects were released separately, late on Monday.

More than 2,000 people, including journalists, activists and foreign nationals, were arrested in the past three weeks, according to right lawyers. Authorities have since released hundreds.

Police rapidly dispersed small street protests on Sept. 20 in the capital, Cairo, and several other cities, triggering a sweeping security clampdown.

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