Egypt accuses Brotherhood leaders of 'planning attacks'

Egyptian authorities have accused detained senior members of the Muslim Brotherhood of trying to set up training camps for staging attacks.

Egypt accuses Brotherhood leaders of 'planning attacks'

Egyptian authorities have accused detained senior members of the Muslim Brotherhood, the country's biggest opposition group, of trying to set up training camps for staging attacks, the group's lawyer said on Wednesday.

Three senior officials of the Brotherhood were among 16 members rounded up early on Monday morning in the latest of a series of swoops, which the group says are aimed at disrupting preparations for parliamentary elections due later this year.

"Such charges have been levelled by state security investigations before and the judiciary has found them baseless," said lawyer Abdel-Moneim Abdel-Maksoud.

"It is possible that the state's purpose in this latest case is to escalate matters to lead to a military trial of Brotherhood members," he told Reuters.

A source at the prosecution office said the people rounded up on Monday were being detained for 15 days for investigation but they had not been formally charged. Detention periods are often renewed many times.

Brotherhood sources initially said 14 members had been detained on Monday, but later said two more were rounded up.

"Exceptional" courts

Rights groups say Egypt has used "exceptional" courts such as emergency and military courts to secure guilty verdicts. They point to swift and often harsh sentences passed by the courts against "Islamists" in the 1990s.

This week's arrests follow the group's first internal election in 14 years in December. Such an election in 1995 provoked a crackdown and the first military trial for the Brotherhood during President Hosni Mubarak's rule.

Since then, Brotherhood members have been tried in military courts several times, the Brotherhood said.

Amnesty International called that trial unfair, calling on authorities to stop trying civilians in military courts.


Reuters



Related news reports:

Egypt arrests Muslim Brotherhood leaders

Last Mod: 10 Şubat 2010, 14:59
Add Comment