CAIRO: Security forces arrested 56 Muslim Brotherhood members in nine governorates two days ahead of the presidential elections, Ministry of Interior Mohamed Ibrahim said in a statement Friday.
Sixteen of the detainees were arrested in Giza and 13 in Alexandria and the detentions were warranted by the public prosecution on charges of inciting violence, demonstrations, and attacking police stations.
Mansoura Criminal Court sentenced 155 Brotherhood supporters to prison on May 21 on the same charges, which mirror the indictment against hundreds of other Brotherhood supporters in other cases. Of the 155 members, 54 were given life sentences and 101 were given one to ten years in prison.
Presidential candidate Hamdeen Sabbahi promised in a recorded speech on state TV to pardon all prisoners of conscience if he is elected president.
“I will put an end to the unfair protest law and I will re-issue a law that regulates, rather than bans, peaceful protesting and gathering,” Sabbahi said.
Presidential candidate Abdel Fatah al-Sisi defended the protest law in several TV interviews and said that people are not entitled to comment on judicial rulings if they want to establish the rule of law.
“Take a look at some countries, not only the Arab countries, and see what [protesting] leads to,” Sisi told Al-Arabiya Al-Hadath channel Wednesday.
“What I can say about the protest law’s controversy is that is an organizing law, not a preventive one,” Sisi told Sky News Arabia May 11.