Egyptian police arrest 30 members of outlawed Muslim Brotherhood
Egyptian police arrested 30 members of the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood on Sunday, police said.A police official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media, said most of the detainees were students of Helwan University who were arrested for alleged illegal activities.
The Muslim Brotherhood's Web site said many of the detainees were Brotherhood candidates running in student elections at the university, which is located on the outskirts of Cairo.
"A huge police force surrounded and stormed the houses of the students in the early hours of the day and turned the area into a battleground," said the group on its Web site.The police official said books and pamphlets propagating the Brotherhood's ideas were confiscated from inside the students' homes.
Abdel-Moneim Abdel-Maksoud, a lawyer for the group, said the arrests, which also included some Brotherhood activists workers, were aimed at discouraging the students and the workers from actively taking part in the trade unions and students elections.
"It is a fierce campaign of arrests against the Brotherhood to sideline the group's role in the Egyptian political life," Abdel-Maksoud said.Hundreds of Muslim Brotherhood members have been arrested since March in a wave of demonstrations against the extension of Egypt's emergency laws and in support of two pro-reform judges who faced discipline for alleging election fraud.
The Brotherhood, which is formally banned but generally tolerated in Egypt, won nearly a fifth of the parliament seats in last year's elections, making it the largest opposition group.The Brotherhood was founded in 1928 and banned in Egypt since 1954.