Rights group: 800 Brotherhood members held in Egypt

Police in Egypt have detained more than 800 members of the Muslim Brotherhood, the country's largest opposition grouping, ahead of local elections, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said in a statement on Sunday.

Rights group: 800 Brotherhood members held in Egypt
Police in Egypt have detained more than 800 members of the Muslim Brotherhood, the country's largest opposition grouping, ahead of local elections, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said in a statement on Sunday.

The New York-based organization said the crackdown on Egypt's largest opposition grouping was a bid by President Hosny Mubarak and his party to "fix" the elections.

Those arrested have been held for weeks without being charged, while at least 148 of them were candidates for the elections next month, HRW said.

The ongoing mass arrests of the opposition activists and the military trial involving some of its members was "a shameless bid to fix the upcoming elections," HRW Middle East director Joe Stork was quoted as saying.

"President Mubarak apparently believes that the outcome of the elections cannot be left up to voters," the HRW said in a statement.

Local elections, traditionally dominated by Mubarak and his National Democratic Party, take place on April 8. The Muslim Brotherhood has accused the Egyptian government of using the crackdown to prevent the grouping from making another strong showing at the polls following its success in 2005 parliamentary elections.

Agencies
Last Mod: 31 Mart 2008, 13:03
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