Leadership Council for Human Rights

~ Feet in the mud, head in the sky ~

Monday, March 03, 2008

HRW denounces arrests of Brotherhood members

Recent arrests of Muslim Brotherhood members have brought the total number of arrested in 2008 to more than 600, the legal news and research website Jurist reported on March 1, citing statements made by Joe Stork of Human Rights Watch.

According to Stork, the program director for HRW’s Middle East & North Africa division, Egyptian officials claim the grounds for arrest are admissible, citing membership in an illegal organization as an act of illegality. Officials often claim informally that the Muslim Brotherhood aims to overthrow the existing order by violent means, despite the fact that none of the arrested members have been charged with committing or advocating violence, he said, adding that the government enforces the ban on the Brotherhood irregularly at best.

Stork adds that: “Most of those rounded up since the beginning of the year appear to be leaders of the organization and members or sympathizers who planned to run as candidates in municipal elections scheduled for early April.” Stork believes that, given these circumstances, Egypt is violating its obligation to protect its citizens’ right to freedom of association. He continued to say that, “the government’s on-again off-again campaigns of repression violate the rights of Muslim Brotherhood adherents to freedom of association and expression and the right to take part in the conduct of public affairs.”

For the full article, click here.


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