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January 1, 2008

Eight Muslim Brotherhood members detained in Egypt

Opinion

January 1, 2008

CAIRO: At least eight members of Egypt’s banned Muslim Brotherhood movement were arrested on Monday on charges of belonging to an outlawed group, security sources said.

The members were captured in their homes in the district of Seedy Salem in Kafr Shaikh governorate in the early hours of Monday. Essam el-Erian, the group’s spokesman, told Deutsche Presse- Agentur DPA that the arrests were related to an earlier incident in which the brotherhood’s members rallied during the recent Eid-ul-azha feast.

‘The police arrested the members of the Muslim Brothers because they had earlier distributed documents, wore scarves and organised religious rituals and prayers at the last Muslim feast,’ the leader said.

El-Erian condemned the arrests saying that the police was using detention as ‘a permanent security strategy’ against the group. ‘It is no more than a failing strategy that has been always practised but in vain,’ el-Erian said.

The Muslim Brotherhood is a self-styled political group which believes that applying Islamic jurisprudence is the most effective way of achieving political reform. The group is a strong opponent of the Egyptian government. Although outlawed, the group managed to win 88 seats in the Egyptian parliament by filing candidates as ‘independents’ in the last parliamentary elections in 2005.

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