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Arbitrary detentions signal return of police state

February 8, 2014 at 2:48 am

The arbitrary detention of Muslim Brotherhood members signals the return of a police state, a movement spokesman has said. “That is why the Brotherhood cannot accept the coup against President Morsi,” he added.

Immediately after the announcement of the coup on Wednesday, a number of senior Muslim Brotherhood leaders and members, including its former supreme guide, were detained. Claims that the current deputy supreme guide and the head of the Freedom and Justice Party, along with the former speaker of the parliament, were released on Friday have been denied.

The methods by which Brotherhood leaders have been arrested have been criticised. The spokesman described the way that Khairat Al-Shater was detained, for example, as “humiliating”. Mr Al-Shater was taken away in handcuffs in front of his family members. Video footage shows the leader of Al-Raya Party, Shaikh Hazem Abu-Ismail, being mistreated by police officers as he was taken to Tura Prison

Such detentions have taken place despite “reassurances” from the army that they would not detain anyone based on their political affiliation. The repression of opponents of the coup includes Imams being forbidden from delivering the Friday sermon if they refused to call on anti-coup protesters to clear the streets.