Egypt frees Brotherhood detainees

Egyptian authorities have released 137 members of the Muslim Brotherhood movement, a judicial source said.

    Muslim Brotherhood occupies 15 of the 444 seats in parliament

    Those freed on Tuesday were among hundreds detained in a crackdown on the opposition during May protests.

    Egyptian forces arrested hundreds of Muslim Brotherhood members during the protests for political reform and then jailed hundreds more in later demonstrations calling for the release of those held.

    Those freed included engineers, doctors and students from various cities in the northern delta region and southern Egypt.

    The release, ordered by Attorney General Maher Abd al-Wahid, came two days after the authorities freed 163 members of the movement.


    More than 430 Muslim Brothers have now been released but the movement's main leaders remain behind bars, including secretary general Mahmud Ezzat and Issam al-Iryan, a senior Brotherhood official.


    Judicial sources said Iryan's case will be reviewed on Saturday and his detention may be extended again pending further investigations.

    Brotherhood targeted


    Egypt detained more than 800
    Muslim Brotherhood members

    The banned but tolerated movement, the largest opposition force in Egypt, had been the target of a crackdown by Egyptian security services last month, following a string of demonstrations against the President Hosni Mubarak’s government.


    More than 800 Muslim Brotherhood members were detained in May alone.


    They include leading members of the group, which like other opposition movements says recent political reform by the government aims to secure power for the incumbents rather than allow more competition.

    The Brotherhood says a constitutional amendment replacing the old referendum on a single candidate for the post of president with a system allowing multi-candidate elections aims to bar it from fielding a candidate.


    To contest the election, a Brotherhood candidate standing as an independent would have to win the approval of at least 65 members of parliament and the support of members of other elected bodies, which are all dominated by the ruling party.


    The Muslim Brotherhood occupies 15 of the 444 seats in parliament.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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