Brotherhood senior figure no longer under house arrest

Yasmine Saleh
3 Min Read

CAIRO: A day after his release from prison on Saturday, Essam El-Erian, one of the most prominent leaders of the banned-but-tolerated Muslim Brotherhood opposition group was placed under house arrest.

But on Monday, the authorities lifted the arrest and the physician by training was told he was free.

“But no one knows till when, El-Erian told The Daily Star Egypt.

Tomorrow or maybe after one hour, I can get arrested. And this can happen to any one of us: me, you, or anyone.

The emergency law gives the government the right to arrest anyone at anytime, El-Erian said.

Despite its significant gains in last year’s parliamentary elections – the Muslim Brotherhood now holds a total of 88 seats – the party is still as El-Erian described, unwanted by the government.

The government, according to El-Erian, is sending a message by arresting him and another prominent Muslim Brotherhood member and an ex-member of parliament, Dr Mohamed Morsi, who was arrested with El-Erian just five months after he completed his office in the parliament.

The government wants to say that everything is under its control, there is no law and no human rights, El-Erian said.

This is the second time in two years that El-Erian gets arrested and jailed for a period of six months. Also a few years ago El-Erian was jailed for five years. All those detentions were for no reason but being part of the Muslim Brotherhood, El-Erian claimed.

But a member of the ruling National Democratic Party (NDP) disputed El-Erian’s claims.

Let them [the Muslim Brotherhood] say what they want about the government. At the end they were detained by the general prosecutor’s office which functions under and within the Egyptian legal system, a very fair and objective system, said Mohamed Khalil Kwaitah, an NDP MP.

Kwaitah stressed that this issue is only related to the Egyptian legal system where all the investigations and rules are issued and no other side is involved.

The government has detained about 800 members of the Muslim Brotherhood this year.

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