CAIRO: Police arrested 110 members of the Muslim Brotherhood on Monday, and beat and tear-gassed others as they protested outside a courthouse in which a prominent Brotherhood member was on trial, sources said. The group s Web site and an eyewitness said thousands of police had surrounded the demonstrators in the large Nile Delta town of Zagazig and had dispersed the crowd using sticks, teargas, rubber bullets and water cannons. The Web site said 10 demonstrators had been injured and 110 arrested but an eyewitness gave a higher figure. The Ministry of Interior was not immediately available for comment.
Thousands of riot police surrounded a demonstration by 2,000 members of the Brotherhood in support of Dr Hassan Al-Hayawan, the group s Web site reported. They then arrested 110 members of the Brotherhood, it added. The security forces treated the protesters harshly, using teargas and rubber bullets and truncheons, which led to the injury of at least 10 members. The police attacked with sticks, teargas and water cannons. There were people injured through suffocation and beatings. People were taken to hospital, witness Nasser Nouri said. The protest was in support of Hassan Al-Hayawan, who was on trial on charges of possessing firearms without a license, obstructing voting and being a member of an illegal organization. He was later acquitted. The Muslim Brotherhood is Egypt s strongest opposition group and is usually tolerated despite being banned as an illegal organization. It fields parliamentary candidates as independents to sidestep the ban. The arrests come shortly after U.S. lawmakers narrowly defeated a bid to cut aid to Cairo on Thursday, a move intended to show U.S. displeasure with Egypt s democratic setbacks. Egypt is the second largest recipient of U.S. aid after Israel. The United States publicly criticized Egypt three times last month for its harsh crackdown on political dissent. Agencies