Amnesty Calls for Release of Muslim Brotherhood “Prisoners of Conscience”
|Saturday, April 5,2008 21:03|
|By Mariam Ali|
Amnesty International expressed its concern over the ongoing crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood ahead of April 8 local elections. It called for the release of hundreds of MB potential candidates and activists “immediately and unconditionally,” including editor-in-chief of Ikhwanweb Khaled Hamza who suffers from a heart condition but is not receiving adequate medical care in prison.
“Amnesty International is concerned that many of those arrested and detained may be prisoners of conscience held for the legitimate exercise of freedom of expression and association,” the rights group said in a press release on Thursday.
Amnesty condemned the arbitrary arrests and restrictions on MB potential candidates who were either denied access to registration offices or were barred from registering by government officials who refused to accept their registration papers. Only a few score have been permitted to register as candidates despite administrative court orders to allow them to register, the report said.
Amnesty also criticized detention of supporters who protested against the authorities’ refusal to implement administrative court decisions.
The report denounced the arbitrary arrest of Khaled Hamza, editor-in-chief of Ikhwanweb, whose detention has been renewed for further 15 days on 31 March, and the searching of the house of Abdel Galil Al-Sharnouby, editor-in-chief of Ikhwanonline (the Brotherhood Arabic website) twice by police.
Human Rights Watch has recently described the ongoing mass arrests of opposition activists, on top of the military tribunal against 40 MB leaders, as a “shameless bid” to fix the upcoming vote.
Ikhwanweb team shares Amnesty and other rights organizations the call to free all prisoners of conscience in