Egypt carries out more political arrests

Egyptian security authorities have arrested 11 Muslim Brotherhood leaders, including the group's Secretary-General Mahmud Izzat.

    Mohammed Akif says the group will not abandon its demands

    Aljazeera's correspondent in Cairo said on Sunday that 11 further members of the group were also arrested, including six from the al-Jiza governorate, three from Cairo, and one each from Alexandria and al-Gharbiya.

    The Associated Press news agency, which put the number of arrests at 20, quoted police and Muslim Brotherhood officials as saying that Izzat was picked up in dawn sweeps, carried out in several provinces, along with 19 others.

    Izzat, who is head of the Cairo operations of the banned but tolerated opposition movement, is the highest-profile member arrested since 1996, a police official said.

    Mohammed Mahdi Akif, the supreme guide of the group, told Aljazeera on Sunday that the arrests were in response to the group's determination to continue demanding freedom of citizens and respect of the constitution and the law.

    Mubarak has retained power
    through one-candidate polls

    Akif vowed the arrests would not stop the group from persisting with its demands.   

    "The arrests, made by the government to terrify us, would not change the Muslim Brotherhood group's determination to continue demanding people's right to freedom," he said.

    He added that the group tried to open dialogue channels with government officials, but that its attempts had been ignored.
     
    "No side has offered to hold talks with us or to know what we want," he added. 
     
    "Around 850 members of the group have so far been arrested. Why? We don't know," Akif said.
     
    "Adopting this violent style is rejected by the Muslim Brotherhood group," he added.

    Referendum

    Wednesday's referendum allows Egyptians to approve or reject changes to the constitution that will allow the nation's first multi-party presidential elections in September.

    Opponents of President Hosni Mubarak, including the Muslim Brotherhood, have urged a boycott of the referendum, saying the changes will provide little more than window-dressing to the current yes/no one-candidate system.

    Mubarak, who has served 24 years as Egypt's president, has always been handily reinstalled in yes/no referendums in which there were no other candidates.

    SOURCE: Aljazeera + Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Revival: The Muslim Response to the Crusades

    Revival: The Muslim Response to the Crusades

    This part of 'The Crusades: An Arab Perspective' explores the birth of the Muslim revival in the face of the Crusades.

    Going undercover as a sex worker

    Going undercover as a sex worker

    A photojournalist describes how she posed as a prostitute to follow the trade in human flesh.

    Africa is not poor, we are stealing its wealth

    Africa is not poor, we are stealing its wealth

    It's time to change the way we talk and think about Africa.