CAIRO: Muslim Brotherhood (MB) members have reacted angrily to allegations that the group has “collaborated with Egyptian security bodies.
The Arab Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) allege in a statement issued on Thursday that the MB had inside information about the detention of bloggers Mohamed Adel and Abdel Aziz Megahed
The statement was entitled “Dirty deal between the MB and state security may result in military trial against bloggers Mohamed Adel and Abdel Aziz Megahed.
Adel, a 22-year-old IT student, was bundled into a car by roughly 30 plain-clothed policemen while in a Downtown Cairo coffee shop on Nov. 20, according to an eyewitness.
Megahed disappeared on Nov. 4 when he was summoned by state security to pick up a laptop which had been seized when he was arrested during local elections in April.
According to ANHRI, Adel and Megahed are currently being held in Tora Prison and Wadi Natrun Prison, respectively and are “prisoners of conscience who have committed no crime “except for writing on their blogs and empathizing with the Palestinian people.
On Dec. 5, MB member Abdel Moneim Mahmoud told Daily News Egypt that the two men were arrested because of photographs of them with Hamas leaders which they took in Gaza in January when the Rafah crossing was breached.
Mahmoud also said that members of the MB had received information that Adel and Megahed had been taken to state security headquarters in Nasr City, Cairo.
In its statement, ANHRI alleges that this prior knowledge is evidence of a “suspicious collaboration between the MB and state security.
“Part of the investigation into the case of the bloggers, which will be resumed next Saturday, 20th December, has revealed that they were held in the offices of state security detectives in Nasr City, before an order was issued for their arrest and the transfer of Mohamed Adel to Tora prison and Megahed to Wadi Natrun prison, the statement reads.
“The MB was aware of this, which reveals a suspicious collaboration between the security apparatus and the MB, according to which the young men were offered as scapegoats, along with Dr Gamal Abdel Salam, the officer of the Relief Committee of the Arab Doctors Union, in order to relieve the security pressure on the MB.
“It is shameful of the Muslim Brotherhood and the security apparatus to sacrifice two men both under the age of 22, in a dirty deal that could possibly destroy their futures, the statement continues.
Prominent Muslim Brotherhood (MB) member Essam El-Erian roundly rejected the allegations.
“This is nonsense. We currently have around 300 MB members in prison, El-Erian told Daily News Egypt.
“How can they imagine a connection between the MB and state security? I have no idea why [ANHRI director] Gamal Eid put out this statement, he continued.
Mohamed Habib, the group’s deputy leader, called the statement “a joke.
“This is an attempt to sully the MB’s reputation. The statement is a joke, Habib told Daily News Egypt.
ANHRI director Gamal Eid maintained that Adel and Megahed are the victims of a deal reached between the MB and state security.
“We have friends in the MB who told us that they knew that Adel and Megahed had been taken as part of a state security case, Eid told Daily News Egypt.
“These sources confirmed to us that the MB reached a deal with state security that they [the MB] would stay silent about the detention of Adel and Megahed in return for state security reducing the MB arrests which happen daily, Eid continued.
Members of the officially banned but tolerated group – which forms the largest opposition bloc in the People’s Assembly – are regularly the target of police arrest campaigns.