Egypt crackdown on Brotherhood leaders.
CAIRO, Egypt — leading figures in Egypt ‘s opposition and two other top figures have been arrested by police Monday in a dawn sweep targeting members of the nation’s most powerful opposition group across the country.
The arrests, part of an ongoing crackdown, came just as the group chose a new leadership and ahead of parliamentary elections set to take place in October.
Police arrested the new deputy leader, Mahmoud Ezzat, and two other members of the Executive Council including, el-Erian and Abdul-Rahman el-Birr. A fourth leading member was not home when police raided his house.
The group suggested that the arrests were related to its support for Palestinians in the Gaza Strip and the upcoming parliamentary elections.
Mohamed Morsi spokesman for the group described the arrests as a continuation of the state’s pressure and marginalization of the whole nation; stressing that “This regime neither wants a partner nor a participant”.
Police said the charges against the men, as well as at least 10 other leading members arrested from other governorates , were for engaging in banned political activity. This is a standard government charge used against the group in which the members have gotten used to.
The move comes just weeks after the movement selected a new chairman Dr Mohammed Badie.
Within a year of the Brotherhood’s dramatic election victory in 2005, the government launched a wide-ranging crackdown against the group, including the arrest of Khayrat el-Shater, the group’s third-ranking member, and who is currently serving a harsh 7 year military court sentence.
In October, Egypt ‘s Interior Minister Habib el-Adly, who runs the nation’s powerful security apparatus, vowed that the group would not repeat their election successes in the 2010 parliamentary contests.
In elections for municipal councils and parliament’s upper house following 2005, Brotherhood candidates were banned from running by however the group were able to secure 88 of the 444 seats in the parliamentary elections.
The Muslim Brotherhood advocates an Islamic state in Egypt , implementing Islamic law however in moderacy by becoming a party and promoting Islamic values in a democratic system.