UPDATED: 70 MB members arrested in Alexandria ahead of parliamentary polls
|Tuesday, October 26,2010 12:26|
Security services in Alexandria launched it's most aggressive clampdown on the Muslim Brotherhood since the group confirmed it would participate in the upcoming parliamentary elections.
Over 70 members of the group and candidates supporters and campaigners were taken at dawn in Alexandria.
MB MP Sobhi Saleh and assistant secretary general in the MB parliamentary bloc stressed that again the ruling regime exposed itself asserting that it is unable to conduct elections with integrity indicating it fears the group's existence in the political arena.
The group enjoys much support from the public and during the 2005 elections was able to secure 20% of the available seats in parliament. Alexandria is considered one of the biggest strongholds of the Brotherhood in Egypt, where the group acquired more than 6 seats in the parliament and the security crackdown is the heaviest and largest campaign since the beginning of security breaches. Since the chairman Dr. Mohamed Badie's announcement on October 9, a nationwide crackdown has taken place detaining over 190 of the group's members with the swoop in Alexandria being the fiercest so far.
Security forces arrested the MB campaigners as they began a poster campaign for the group's female candidate Bushra Alsamny. The posters read, “Together we can introduce change and the Brotherhood’s traditional but controversial slogan “Islam is the Solution".
The group's lawyer Khalaf Bayoumi argued that Samni has a right to promote her candidacy like all others vying for seats. He maintained that he is following up on legal procedures to release the MB detainees.
Bayoumi believed that the MB arrests reveal plans by the security apparatus and ruling regime to suppress the Brotherhood’s chances of winning the quota seat in Alexandria. He asserted however that despite the alleged intimidation campaign and efforts by the authorities the MB will continue to participate in the upcoming elections.