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Egypt Denies Forced Disappearance Reports of Former Lawmaker

Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi attends a signing ceremony with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Sochi, Russia, Oct. 17, 2018. Shaymaa Afifi, the wife of Mustafa el-Nagar, a former Egyptian lawmaker, says her husband went missing nearly three weeks ago and may have been detained by security forces.

The Egyptian government is denying an accusation by the wife of a former lawmaker that her husband may have bene detained by police.

A statement by the State Information Service on Thursday categorically denies that Mustafa el-Nagar has been detained. Instead, it described him as a fugitive from a three-year prison sentence upheld this week by the country's top appeals court following his conviction along with some two dozen others of insulting the judiciary.

“The rumors about his forced disappearance are totally unfounded,” it said.

In a request for information sent to Egypt’s top prosecutors, el-Nagar’s wife, Shaymaa Afifi, said he went missing on Sept. 27 while traveling to the southern city of Aswan. She said an unknown person informed her by telephone last week that police arrested her husband.