Egyptian political repression increases: Muslim Brotherhood leaders arrested and police beat anti-Mubarak protesters

The Muslim Brotherhood website in Egypt reports that police beat protesters at a rally in Cairo last week. The site reports the protesters were unhappy with plans they believe exist to hand power from President Hosni Mubarak to his son, Gamal. The report quotes a number of organisations condemning the police beatings, including the National Association for Change, an alliance between groups as diverse as the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood and liberal and left-wing organisations. The National Association for Change is headed by former International Atomic Energy Agency chief Mohamed El-Baradei.

The Muslim Brotherhood’s site also reports that five leaders of the Brotherhood were arrested last week. The report claims that this was an attempt to suppress possible Muslim Brotherhood candidates in upcoming elections to Egypt’s parliament. While the Muslim Brotherhood is banned in Egypt, its members ran as independents in the 2005 parliamentary elections, winning eighty-eight seats out of four hundred and fifty four.

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