- The three leading Muslim Brotherhood members arrested in Egypt on Monday are accused of forming secret terrorist groups in the provinces and plotting to overthrow the government to establish an Islamic state.
Egyptian police arrested Muslim Brotherhood deputy leader Mahmud Ezzat and three members of the opposition on Monday, along with 13 activists.
The Muslim Brotherhood, in a statement has maintained that the accusation by the country’s security services were baseless, maintaining that the group adheres to its peaceful ideology and democratic principles.
“These are ridiculous charges. We have seen this many times in the past and the courts have all said there is no foundation for these accusations,” Brotherhood’s top lawyer, Abdel Moneim Abdel Maksoud said.
This week's arrests netted the most senior members since a crackdown in 2005 and 2006, which also targeted Mr Ezzat, then secretary general, as well as one of the group's four deputy leaders, Khairat el-Shater, who is still imprisoned.
Despite the ban, the Brotherhood controls a fifth of seats in parliament after it fielded candidates as independents in the 2005 election.
The group, founded in 1928 was officially banned by the government
since 1954 after the government accused it of attempting to assassinate late President Gamal Abdel Nasser in Alexandria.
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