Egypt: Fmr Appellate Court Vice-President says gov’t misled over Muslim Brotherhood

Egypt: Fmr Appellate Court Vice-President says gov’t misled over Muslim Brotherhood

CAIRO: Former Egyptian appellate judge Mahmoud Khodeiry spoke out against the Egyptian government’s recent crackdown against the popular and powerful Muslim Brotherhood group, saying that the government is misled into thinking the Brotherhood has any terrorism links. Chancellor Mahmoud Khodeiry issued a statement to the Brotherhood’s news publication in response to the recent arrests of top MB leaders Mahmoud Ezzat, Essam el-Erian and Abdel Rahman al-Bar.

He said this wave of animosity from Cairo is a result of the “bitterness” on the ruling government’s part.

The former Vice-President of the Appeals’ Court stressed that the arrest of the high-ranking MB leaders by the State Security’s apparatus was a “grave mistake,” claiming that if combating terrorism was in fact the real reason behind the leader’s arrest the government is misled. He asserted that such distinguished elements of society were vital in contributing to anti-terrorism, as they were “popular and influential figures who adhered to and promoted moderate Islamic views.”

He added that “if the state wanted to eliminate terrorism, it should give the opportunity to the Muslim Brotherhood who persuade citizens to approach Islam in a tolerant and moderate manner encouraging practices, which are supposed to be in every home to correct and reform society.”

Fellow lawyer Mamdouh Ismail added that it was a “patriotic obligation” to stand and defend these “noble men who added to the country’s well-being where they offered services in turn for nothing.”

He emphasized that the fabricated accusations shed light on the fact that the case was purely political, lacking any credibility aimed at intimidating the members of the Muslim Brotherhood group before the impending Shura and Parliamentary elections.

Deputy Ezzat, spokesman Erian and Executive Bureau member al-Bar were detained in early dawn raids in early February. Government prosecutors have charged the three leaders, and 12 others, with attempting to form a sub-group of the Brotherhood that aimed to carry out terrorist attacks against domestic Egyptian targets. All charges have been denied by the Brotherhood.