With eye on elections, Egypt cracks down on Muslim Brotherhood

With eye on elections, Egypt cracks down on Muslim Brotherhood

 Egypt has launched another crackdown on the Islamic opposition.  At least a dozen senior members of the Muslim Brotherhood have been arrested in raids throughout the Cairo area. The detained included deputy Brotherhood leader Mahmoud Izzat.

“These 14 arrests included a number of leading members following the internal elections and ahead of parliamentary elections,” Abdul Moneim Abdul Maqsoud, an attorney who represents Brotherhood detainees, said.

Another senior Brotherhood detainee was identified as Issam Al Erian, a member of the Executive Council. Another Executive Council member was identified as Abdul Rahman Bir.

In all, the sources said 34 Brotherhood members were arrested in raids by security forces on Feb. 7-8. They said the detention of the leadership was meant to block elections within the Brotherhood to select a slate to run in Egyptian parliamentary elections in 2010.

“This is part of the state’s campaign against the group,” Executive Council member Mohammed Katatni said. “The group is now getting ready for parliamentary elections and this campaign is to stem such activities.”

The Brotherhood, banned in 1954 but over the last decade allowed informal activity, controls about 20 percent of the 440-member parliament. Polls assert that the Islamic opposition would lose many seats in the forthcoming elections.

The Brotherhood also reported the arrest of 10 senior provincial members. The sources said security forces raided six provinces in a 24-hour period, including Cairo.

The crackdown was said to have been the first since the selection of  DR Mohammed Badie as the  Brotherhood’s Chairman in January 2010. Badie has been regarded as a member of the conservative wing, which sought a reconciliation with the regime of President Hosni Mubarak.

In a statement, Badie expressed concern over the Egyptian crackdown. He said the Mubarak regime was determined to prevent the Brotherhood from repeating its gains in the 2005 parliamentary elections.


The Source