Protests demand release of MB leaders

Members of the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) staged protests in front of the Egyptian Medical Syndicate on Tuesday, demanding the release of arrested group leaders, including First Deputy Guide Mahmoud Ezzat and Guidance Bureau members Essam el-Erian and Abdel Rahman el-Barr.

Gamal Heshmat, a member of the group’s consultative Shura Council, said the government has failed in dealing with the country’s political opposition groups. "The government is humiliating us Egyptians in front of the whole world," he said.

He added that the government arrested MB leaders after the group announced its willingness to form coalitions with other opposition forces, and after realizing the group had "public sympathy."

"Our last MB elections were a lesson in democracy for the regime," Heshmat said, asserting that the government failed to sow internal division within the group.

MB Shura Council member Ibrahim el-Zafarani said the group works in the open and has a clear strategy. "They cannot hold anything against us," he said.

"The government is trying to intimidate the group by arresting these noble men," said Ibrahim, el-Erian’s son.

Syndicate board member Dr. Abdel Fattah Rizq, for his part, criticized the government for hindering freedom of thought in what he called a "barbaric" way.

Translated from the Arabic Edition.

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