CAIRO: Dozens of Muslim Brotherhood candidates have gone underground, sleeping away from their homes and families, in efforts to dodge arrest ahead of local elections next month, The Associated Press reported.
Abdel Moneim Abdel Maksoud, the group’s chief lawyer, said that recent government crackdown has forced Brotherhood members underground. Several prominent figures also switched off their mobile telephones, making them less accessible.
On Friday, Daily News Egypt wasn’t able to reach the group’s leaders, usually accessible by phone.
Abdel Gelil El-Sharnoubi, who runs the group’s website, Ikhwanonline.com, has not returned home since Tuesday, when security forces stormed his apartment at dawn and confiscated several books and CDs.
”I will not return home, at least not until this campaign calms down,” El-Sharnoubi told The Associated Press over the phone from an undisclosed location.
However, sources in the lower ranks on the group told Daily News Egypt that such “hidings were individual cases, indicating that there is no general policy within the group encouraging the members to hide or keep a low profile.
In fact, throughout the past week, the group has repeatedly expressed its unrelenting intent to run in the upcoming municipal elections.
Brotherhood leader Mohamed Mahdi Akef will hold a press conference Saturday to present the group’s stance regarding the election, in light of the crackdowns that had marked the period open for candidacy registration, which ended on Thursday.