Egypt frees Muslim Brotherhood men

Egypt's prosecutor-general has ordered the release on bail of 17 members of the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood.

    The Brotherhood is Egypt's biggest political opposition group

    The men are among more than 230 members of the group arrested after a 27 March demonstration against President Husni Mubarak that prompted a massive security crackdown in Cairo and four provinces in the northern Nile Delta.

    Police said 60 Muslim Brotherhood members were detained.

    According to Aljazeera's correspondent in Cairo, the Egyptian authorities released nine members of the group on Saturday, after releasing eight others on Thursday.

    Others still detained

    The authorities also decided to renew the detention of 26 others for two weeks on charges of belonging to a banned group, the correspondent said.

    Prosecutor General Mahir Abd al-Wahid confirmed to reporters that journalist Adil al-Ansari was among the members who would be released after paying the equivalent of $172 to $345 for bail. 

    Last week, journalists and pro-reform activists demonstrated in front of Cairo's Press Syndicate to demand al-Ansari's release.

    The March rally

    In March, the Muslim Brotherhood
    staged a big public rally

    The Muslim Brotherhood has been banned since 1954, but remains Egypt's most powerful Islamic political group and is thought to be the most powerful opposition to the government, with tens of thousands of supporters.

    The March rally - a rare public showing by the group - came one month after Mubarak proposed a constitutional amendment to open presidential elections later this year to more than one candidate.

    Opposition groups are demanding further change, including an end to emergency laws that they say prevent any election from being democratic.

    SOURCE: Aljazeera + Agencies


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