Sun, Nov 21, 2010 | Ikhwanweb | By Crethi Plethi
Egypt Arrests Hundreds of Islamists Ahead of Elections
On Sunday, Muslim Brotherhood lawyer Abdel Monem Abdel Maqsoud, said that the current clampdown against Muslim Brotherhood’s candidates and their supporters has noticeably increased during the past few days with a total of 1206 detainees since MB announced on October 9 plans to field candidates in next week’s parliamentary elections.
The continued hindering and intervention is a clear violation of the constitution which stipulates equal opportunity for all candidates, the Brotherhood said on its website.
The independent Al-Shuruq newspaper said on Saturday that those arrested face charges of “membership in an illegal organisation” and for “resisting law enforcement officers and taking part in unauthorised march.”
The Muslim Brotherhood, which registers its candidates as independents to skirt a ban on religious parties, won a fifth of parliament’s seats in the last election in 2005. The Brotherhood, an Islamist political and social welfare group that was founded by Hasan al-Banna in 1928, swept into greater prominence after the 2005 election.
Following months of internal debate over the organisation’s political strategy, Mohammed Badie, the group’s “supreme guide,” announced the Brotherhood would run candidates in this month’s election for 30 per cent of the seats in parliament. [AlJazeera, nov 04, 2010]
Past elections in Egypt have been marred by violence and irregularities, and local rights groups say the vote has already been compromised by the arrests of many opposition activists.
On Thursday, Egypt accused the United States of meddling in its affairs in an unusually harsh criticism after Washington called for foreign monitors in this month’s election and also met with a group pressing for reform.