Egypt arrests 79 Brotherhood members in 24 hours

Egyptian security forces have arrested 79 members and supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood movement cross the country in the past 24 hours, Press TV reports.

A Muslim Brotherhood supporter shows the picture of Egypt’s ousted president, Mohamed Morsi, during a demo in Cairo, January 24, 2015. (© AFP)
A Muslim Brotherhood supporter shows the picture of Egypt’s ousted president, Mohamed Morsi, during a demo in Cairo, January 24, 2015. (© AFP)

Security sources said on Thursday that they had taken 27 middle-ranking Brotherhood cadres into custody on alleged charges of committing and inciting violence against state institutions and public utilities.

Another 16 members of the movement were also detained in a number of provinces across the North African country, the sources noted, adding that 18 supporters of ousted president Mohamed Morsi were also arrested in the central province of Minya on accusation of trying to commit acts of violence in the Suez Canal area.

A total of 18 members and backers of the now outlawed group were also arrested in the Suez Canal province of Ismailia as well as the sea port city of Suez.

Also on Thursday, an Egyptian military court in the province of Assuit sentenced nearly 30 people to prison for their alleged role in anti-government protests and storming a police station.

The Muslim Brotherhood members and supporters have been under mounting pressure by the Egyptian government since Morsi, who enjoyed the party’s support, was ousted in a military coup led by then military chief and current president, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, in July 2013.

Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood senior member Khairat al-Shater (top-L) and others gesture from the defendants’ cage as they attend their trial at the police academy on the outskirts of the capital Cairo on June 2, 2015. (© AFP)

The party was later blacklisted as a terrorist organization by the Cairo officials in a bid to prevent its affiliates from running in elections.

International rights groups have severely criticized the government of Sisi for launching a heavy-handed crackdown on anti-government protesters and stifling freedom of speech in the Arab country.

The crackdown on Muslim Brotherhood supporters has left over 1,400 people dead and 22,000 arrested, while hundreds have been sentenced to death in mass trials, according to human rights bodies.

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