Ten hurt as Egyptian police disrupt rally

CLASHES broke out between members of an Islamic party and police at a rally north of Cairo yesterday leaving ten injured amid a government crackdown on the opposition group ahead of parliamentary elections next week.

Abdel Galil el-Sharnoubi, who runs the Muslim Brotherhood's website, said baton-wielding police beat the supporters of its candidate Mohammed Fayyadh and arrested four others in the Nile Delta province of Sharqiya.

In a separate incident, police stopped a Brotherhood procession for candidate Simary Mansour in Abu Kibeer, also in Sharqiya, and damaged 12 cars and seized seven others, the website claimed. Police were not available for comment.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The clashes come amid a wave of arrests against the Brotherhood, which has the largest opposition bloc in the outgoing parliament. El-Sharnoubi said that in recent days about 300 members of the group and sympathisers have been detained in Alexandria and Sharqiya provinces.

"The regime has decided not to tolerate any (Brotherhood] election activity and including even the media campaign and simple peaceful processions," he said, adding that 700 members have been arrested since it announced its intention to contest the elections.

In 2005 elections, the Brotherhood won 88 seats in parliament, a fifth of the total and about ten times more than any other opposition group.

The organisation has predicted, however, that it will lose many of those seats in the 28 November election because of government interference. Although the group is officially banned, candidates can stand as independents.

Unlike in previous elections, there will be no independent judicial supervision at the polling stations for next Sunday's contest. In 2007 the government amended the constitution so that polls will now be supervised by a government-appointed body.