- Human RightsPrisoners of Conscience
- December 11, 2007
- 2 minutes read
Egypt detains Muslim Brotherhood members
Egyptian police detained 20 members of the opposition Muslim Brotherhood in the Nile Delta province of Sharkia on Thursday, the Brotherhood and police said.
Brotherhood official Mohamed Osama told Reuters the police took the men at around dawn from their homes in or near the town of Faqus, 100km northeast of Cairo. The detentions bring to 76 the number of members now in custody, he added.
Police sources said officers had taken books and anti-government publications from their houses. The 20 men will be referred to the state security prosecutor, they added.
An interior ministry spokesman said he had no knowledge of the detentions.
The non-violent Brotherhood, which is Egypt”s most powerful opposition group, seeks an Islamic state through democratic elections and operates openly despite a decades-long ban. Brotherhood members hold one-fifth of the seats in parliament.
But the Egyptian government considers the Brotherhood an illegal organisation and often detains its members without charge. Some 40 members of the group are currently on trial in military court on terrorism and money laundering charges.