The Muslim Brotherhood accused government forces Tuesday of “barbaric raids” that ended in the arrest of various leaders, claiming that the arrests were made to “push things to the point of outright conflict and violent confrontation”.
The arrests, which included Magdy Hussein, head of the Istiqlal Party, Hossam Khalaf, head of the Wasat Party, and Nasr Abdel-Salam, acting head of the Building and Development Party, were called “kidnappings” in a statement released by the Muslim Brotherhood.
The Brotherhood charged that it was another attempt to stifle opposition and quell growing dissent against what the Brotherhood views as an illegitimate coup.
“This is a treacherous and cowardly approach by the most panic-stricken commander, who is totally isolated from the people, and his cronies who are willing to sacrifice all Egyptians, even – most recently – the leaders of their own Interior Ministry yesterday, so the gang [will] remain in power for a little bit longer.”
A number of youth leaders’ homes were raided in tandem with the arrest of the party heads. State-run Al-Ahram reported that the home of Diaa El-Sawi, spokesman for the Youth Against the Coup movement, was also raided.
“The Alliance stresses that this most repressive and reckless approach by coup authorities assures everyone that Mubarak II [Al-Sisi] and his gang did not get the message yet, and that the cronies’ inefficiency which put the country on the edge of a precipice makes it the duty of all remaining leaders of this homeland to take a step in the right direction by joining the people in their defiance movement,” the statement said.
Scores of pro-Morsi protesters have been arrested or killed since the Muslim Brotherhood-backed president was ousted on 3 July 2013. The government declared the Brotherhood a terrorist organisation on 24 December 2013, although most of its leadership was arrested shortly after the 3 July ouster.
Pro-Morsi protesters organise marches every Friday after prayers to contest what they view as a military dictatorship. Marches are frequently dispersed, and protesters are often arrested.
Independent monitoring group Wiki Thawra says that 41,000 people have been tried or detained from July 2013 to May 2014. The government has meanwhile said that only 16,000 have been arrested during this period.