LONDON: Human rights group Amnesty International said Friday it was greatly concerned by the arrest of two Egyptian lawmakers from banned Islamist opposition group the Muslim Brotherhood.
The London-based organization condemned the detention last week north of Cairo of Ragab Abu Zeid and Saber Amer, who had their parliamentary immunity lifted earlier this year.
Amnesty International is greatly concerned by the recent arrests, detention and prosecution on terrorism-related charges of leading members of the Muslim Brotherhood, apparently because of their peaceful exercise of their right to freedom of association and assembly, it said in a statement.
Amnesty said the crackdown on the movement, which has more than a fifth of the seats in Egypt s parliament despite being banned, coincided with the trial of 40 other Muslim Brotherhood members.
These arrests are the latest in a long-standing pattern of repression by the Egyptian authorities against the Muslim Brotherhood, its statement added.
More than 500 members are believed currently to be detained, many of them without charge or trial.
Amnesty called on the Egyptian authorities to release prisoners being held for their non-violent expression of their political beliefs and to stop holding civilian trials in military courts.