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Middle East
Muslim Brotherhood leader dies
Member dies of heart attack three days after release from Egyptian prison.
Last Modified: 19 Nov 2006 18:10 GMT
Egyptian security forces detained 220 Muslim Brotherhood members in June
Hassan el-Haiwan, a senior Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood leader who had been imprisoned for nearly a year, has died of a heart attack three days after his release.
 
El-Haiwan, who was released from prison on Wednesday, died on Saturday night, the Brotherhood's website said.
The 48-year old was arrested during last year's violent legislative election season during which at least 10 people were killed. Many of the deaths were blamed on security forces trying to block opposition voters from reaching the polls.

El-Haiwan, a university professor and doctor, was tried on charges of possessing weapons and plotting to use them during Egypt's parliamentary elections in November and December last year.

A state security court ordered he be released in June, but el-Haiwan remained in custody. He was released in October, but a few days later el-Haiwan was re-arrested. The court again ordered his release on Sunday.

 

Thousands attend el-Haiwan's funeral Sunday in the Sharqiyya Province, northeast of Cairo.

 

Crackdown

 

Hundreds of Muslim Brotherhood members have been detained since the elections in a new crackdown on the banned group. In June, police detained about 220 members who were attending a protest in support of el-Haiwan.

 

The Muslim Brotherhood increased its seats in parliament sevenfold in last year's legislative elections. The Brotherhood, which holds 88 seats in parliament is Egypt's largest Islamist group.

 

Founded in 1928, the Brotherhood has been banned since 1954, though it renounced violence in the 1970s. It is not allowed to run as a party in the elections, but it endorses “independent” candidates who openly declare their allegiance to the group.

Source:
Agencies
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