Muslim Brotherhood leaders grounded in Egypt

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CAIRO: Cairo airport authorities prevented two leading members of the opposition Muslim Brotherhood from traveling to Syria to attend a pro-Palestinian conference, the group said on Monday.

Essam El-Erian and Gamal Hishmat were traveling with a delegation of opposition members and activists to attend a meeting in Damascus on the return of Palestinian refugees to Israel.

I was prevented on Saturday from going to Damascus, and no reason was given to me, El-Erian told AFP.

Airport authorities allowed the rest of the delegation, which included another high-ranking Brotherhood leader, to depart.

Egypt has become a large prison for me, said El-Erian, who spent five years in jail in the 1990s for his membership in the Brotherhood.

Hishmat, a former parliamentarian, has been denied permission to leave Egypt 12 times despite obtaining court orders allowing him to travel, the Brotherhood said on its website. – AFP

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