At least 343 people were arrested in August on alleged charges or belonging to the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood group, according to Ministry of Interior reports, aggregated by Daily News Egypt.
The arrests over the past month took place across 12 governorates. Menufiya, Beheira and Fayoum were the top 3 governorates with number of arrests. Arrests extended to other governorates other than Cairo, such as Alexandria and Minya among others.
The arrested were suspected of being members of middle-rank committees and specialised committees in the Brotherhood, performing attacks against security men. Other men were wanted on charges for other cases.
The interior ministry reports labelled the arrested as “criminals” or “terrorist”, sometimes exposed their identity,” before their referral to the prosecution or court.
A statement by the interior ministry official page on Facebook on 8 August read: “In efforts to chase the leaders of the Brotherhood, and those who were involved in bomb explosions and attacks on security men in Fayoum, Abdel Salam Attiya, the Brotherhood senior leader of Fayoum, was arrested.”
Article 96 of the 2014 constitution states that “defendants are not guilty unless proven otherwise in a fair legal trial that guarantees his right to defend himself”.
Located over 100km south of Cairo, the Fayoum governorate has witnessed increasing security turbulence, especially over the last month. Several citizens were arrested from their homes on suspicion of belonging to the Brotherhood. Others were killed, or forcibly disappeared.
Two men, named as Mohamed Khames and Salem Sayed, were killed Friday morning in Fayoum as police stormed their home, while eyewitnesses claim they were unarmed.
The interior ministry further announced the release of 249 prisoners on health grounds and 181 on conditional releases; however the statement has not mentioned whether those prisoners were from the same category of prisoners who were charged with terror crimes.
Mohab S, a lawyer at the Association of Freedom of Thought and Expression (AFTE), previously told Daily News Egypt: “The charge of belong to the Muslim Brotherhood is readymade by the state for nearly all cases we have dealt with.”
“The defendants either wait for lengthy months in pre-trial detention or receive verdicts,” he added.
The AFTE students’ observatory has documented 749 students arrested during academic year 2014/2015 on charges of belonging to the Brotherhood.