2010 Records Highest Number of MB Arrests Totalling over 6000

2010 Records Highest Number of MB Arrests Totalling over 6000

According to the latest count, the Muslim Brotherhood’s lawyer, Abdul Monem Abdul Maqsoud, has maintained that 2010 has proved to have harvested the largest number of MB detainees so far. A total of 6,001 members and leaders of Egypt’s strongest political opposition from 22 governorates were arrested.
This number compares to 5022 in 2009 and 3674 in 2008, indicating a steady escalation of the number of arrests.

In a statement, Abdel Maqsoud attributes the 2010 Shura and Parliamentary elections as being behind the large number, as the ruling regime attempted to intimidate the group by tightening its grip on the movement.

A total of 578 cases have been filed against the MB, accusing the group of endorsing the religious motto “Islam Is the Solution”. Two hundred and sixteen cadres have in fact been accused of violating the law and promoting what the NDP described as a ‘banned and outlawed group” Nevertheless, the defendants have been pronounced innocent in most of these cases and the group’s renowned slogan “Islam Is the Solution” has been permitted as a political slogan which is in line with Egypt’s Constitution.

Former MP, Dr. Mohamed El-Beltagy asserts that the year 2010 was filled with events that provoked the regime against the MB, prompting them to increase their crackdown on the group’s members. The MB decision to participate in both the Shura and Parliamentary elections and their collaboration with the newly formed National Association for Change was not met with lightly. The MB and NAC’s call for political reform and constitutional amendments, in addition to the call for the elimination of the Emergency Law also frustrated the regime, triggering more arrests.

The governorate of Sharqeya witnessed the highest number of arrests, followed by Alexandria, and North Sinai which saw the least number of arrests. Furthermore, in violation of article 41, the regime prevented tens of Brotherhood leaders from travelling abroad, including the group’s former chairman Mohamed Mahdi Akef and prominent MB leader, Dr. Essam El-Erian.

Other violations against the MB included the shutdown of 106 businesses owned by Brotherhood members while 26 cars were confiscated in violation of Article 36 of the Constitution, which stipulates that “the general sequestration of funds shall be prohibited, private sequestration shall not be allowed except with a judicial decision.”

Abdel Maqsoud asserted that close to 4500 students affiliated with the MB were violated during 2010, where 451 students were expelled from colleges and 1422 students were excluded from taking part in the Student Body elections. In addition, to this 1665 students were investigated and 895 students were deprived of staying in college dorms. This was a clear breach of international human rights conventions.

According to the statement, the government and the ruling National Democratic Party’s tactics reflect their desire to monopolize Egypt’s political life by preventing the opposition from expressing themselves, hence prevailing and completely controlling the country, exploiting it to serve their personal interests and goals.

Abdel Maqsoud urged the regime to engage in open dialogue with the opposition, especially the MB, in an effort to overcome their differences and preserve stability in Egypt.

El-Beltagy highlighted that it remains to be seen how the authorities intend to deal with the MB in 2011 and whether or not there will be a transition of power in the 2011 presidential elections.