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NEWS & COMMENTARY 2008 SPEAKERS 2007 2006 2005

Tuesday, October 17, 2006


Cairo, 17 Oct. (AKI) - A Cairo court has ordered the release of Mahmoud Ezzat, the secretary general of the Muslim Brotherhood and another 14 members of the banned but tolerated group. The men were arrested on 25 August while at a meeting in northern Egypt. The preventive custody order for Ezzat had been renewed every 15 days, in a practice often used by the Egyptian authorities with Brotherhood members facing charges of belonging to an illegal organisation that seeks to subvert public order.

Some 40 members are still detained in Egyptian jails, including central committee member Mohammed Mursi and well-known leader Essam el-Aryan.

After last November's general election - where the Muslim Brotherhood candidates, running as independents, secured 88 seats and became the largest opposition party in parliament - tensions between the government and the Islamic movement have increased.

Numerous arrests of brotherhood members have been carried out in recent months, during which the Muslim Brotherhood has joined other opposition parties and civil soviety groups in a campaign for the independence of the Egyptian judiciary.
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