Egypt arrests 35 members and sympathizers of opposition Muslim Brotherhood
|Sunday, December 30,2007 18:00|
Egyptian police arrested 35 members and sympathizers of the opposition Muslim Brotherhood organization as they tried to attend the trial Sunday of some members of the movement, a police official said.
The trial in the city of Fayoum, southwest of Cairo, was of a group of Brotherhood members arrested in November while meeting to prepare for municipal elections set for April. The police official said the 35 were arrested Sunday as they tried to attend. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to the press.
The Brotherhood"s Web site said 40 people were arrested.
Long ignored and left to supporters of the ruling party, municipal elections have gained in importance following a 2005 change in the electoral law requiring parties to hold a certain number of municipal seats if they want to field a presidential candidate.
Authorities have increasingly cracked down on the Muslim Brotherhood since December, arresting hundreds of its members and putting 40 of its top financiers and businessmen on trial before a military tribunal on charges of money laundering and supporting terrorism.