Doctors, Brotherhood and ongoing struggle

Doctors, Brotherhood and ongoing struggle

 Cairo-based doctors are voicing their anger and frustration at the ongoing detention of a number of jailed Muslim Brotherhood doctors, including leading reformist Abdel Moneim Aboul Fotouh. Speaking openly at a press conference this week, the Egyptian doctors syndicate said the arrests of their members, including Aboul Fotouh, were a “clear violation of freedom of rights and a devastating loss of human culture and educational resources.”

Aboul Fotouh, the Secretary-General of the Arab Doctors Union, has been in government detention since late June, and is being charged with attempting to create a “global network of extremism” involving the banned Muslim Brotherhood group. He is also a member of the opposition group’s Guidance Bureau.

In a statement issued after the conference, Essam el-Erian, the treasurer of the Doctors Syndicate and a leading member of the Muslim Brotherhood, stressed that “the continued crackdowns, arrests and detentions of our prestigious and distinguished doctors is an unacceptable crime, which must be stopped. It is deplorable how the state has ignored time and time again the court release orders where innocent men remain detained. The continued interference of the regime in every aspect of our lives has become disgusting, where even the simplest rights have been denied. High time has come for authorities to respect the Constitution, which stipulates freedom.”

Mohamed al-Beltagy agreed with his fellow doctor and MB member. He claimed that “the current arrests and crackdowns of the movements’ leaders was obvious in attempting to pave the way for the obvious, but denied transition of power from the President Mubarak to his younger son Gamal.”

This issue has been highlighted in global and domestic media over succession and a number of leading newspapers have reported the government is planning to dissolve Parliament and hold new elections. Analysts have repeatedly told Bikya Masr that this action, if true, would greatly weaken the Brotherhood, because the reform-minded members are now arrested.

“It is part of the plan to create a more radical and conservative group that cannot resonate with the outside world. The members in detention now are more open and have spoken about creating a more moderate and tolerant Brotherhood,” said American security analyst Jim Jones, who has focused on Egyptian internal issues for a number of years from his base in Dubai.

Beltagy asserted that the detained doctors sacrificed their freedom as a price for voicing their demands of freedom, justice and equality for all. He called on all Egyptians to raise the banner of free will, asking them to claim their rights of free speech and wanting them to take part in Egypt and the Muslim worlds’ events and the making of history.

Syndicate chief Saeed al-Gamal argued that the only way Egypt would flourish is “by the regime and authorities to respect judicial decisions and verdicts issued in court. It is imperative that democracy prevail for the success of any country.”