World Bulletin/News Desk
The Foreign Ministry has on Thursday denied that "political" arrests have been made in Egypt, in a veiled response to US criticisms of recent politically-motivated detentions.
"There have been no political arrests since the June 30 revolution," the ministry said in a statement, referring to the mass protests which led to the army's July 3 ouster of elected president Mohamed Morsi.
"The government has nothing to do with any arrest or release orders issued by prosecutors," the statement said.
On Wednesday, the US State Department criticized what it called "politicized arrests" in Egypt following the detention on Tuesday of Muslim Brotherhood spokesman Gehad al-Haddad.
"The Egyptian government has a responsibility to protect all Egyptians and create an atmosphere that supports a process of political transition that is inclusive and has maximum participation from the Egyptian people," US State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said.
Psaki added that Washington's stance on the issue was being conveyed privately to the Egyptian authorities, stressing, "We remain in touch as we have been for months with many representatives in all parties from Egypt."
Al-Haddad was arrested in a Nasr City apartment on Tuesday along with former MP for the Freedom and Justice Party (the Muslim Brotherhood's political arm) Ahmed Diab and leading Brotherhood member Mohamed Abou Zeid.
Al-Haddad is the son of Essam al-Haddad, who had served as Morsi's adviser for foreign affairs during the latter's one year in office.
The elder al-Haddad was detained – along with the ousted president and the rest of his presidential team – on July 3 on charges of "inciting violence" and "espionage." He has not yet been released.
According to the Foreign Ministry statement, the government will apply the law against "whoever commits or incites violence and terrorism."
The ministry insisted that the men had been detained on criminal charges with arrest warrants issued by the prosecutor-general.
"There are no random or political arrests," the ministry asserted. "Those arrested are being tried under normal laws, not extraordinary laws."
Egyptian authorities have unleashed a massive crackdown on Muslim Brotherhood leaders since the bloody dispersal one month ago of two "anti-coup" protest camps, in which hundreds of demonstrators were killed by security forces.
Since then, Egypt's military-backed authorities have rounded up hundreds of the group's senior and mid-ranking members, topped by Brotherhood leader Mohamed Badie and deputies Khairat al-Shater and Rashad Bayoumi.Last Mod: 19 Eylül 2013, 12:46