Egyptian Authorities Step up Measures Against Islamists
CAIRO (Albawaba) - Egyptian security forces have arrested a leader of the Jihad group, according to a report in Middle East Times.
Muhammad Abd-El Wahab Abd El Rahman, was in hiding in Al Salam City, east of Cairo, after fleeing from a prison sentence imposed on him 15 years ago.
Rahman was first arrested in 1986 with 50 other members of the Jihad movement. They were convicted of being part of a movement that aimed to overthrow the government. The group was caught in possession of ammunition and explosives. The defendants were to appear before a military court, but their defense objected.
Finally, their case was heard before the State Security Court and in 1993 they were sentenced to five years in prison with hard labor. The sentence was pronounced in absentia by the State Security Court, as they had already escaped during the trial.
While on the run Rahman left Al Sharkia, his hometown, and stayed in Al Salam City. Middle East Times reported that Rahman possibly went to Afghanistan during the 15 years on the loose.
He will be put on trial again in front of the State Security Court. Meanwhile, the security forces have detained eight more suspected members of the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood ahead of parliamentary polls.
According to Al Gomhuriyya newspaper, police in the Mediterranean port city of Alexandria had jailed the eight, most of them engineers, for 15 days pending investigations. They are accused of belonging to a banned group and trying to spread its ideas, the newspaper said. "These are redundant accusations. Nobody can connect us to violent harmful acts, by word or deed," Brotherhood spokesman Maamoun Hodeibi said in response.
More than 200 alleged Brotherhood members have been detained in recent months in a crackdown which, Hodeibi said, was designed to stop members from running for parliament or campaigning in the general elections set for October and November.
Egypt's high state security court earlier this week sentenced 10 men and women to hard labor for forming an Islamic group. The group was accused of propagating extremist ideology, which included rejecting prayer in mosques and accusing society of not believing in Islam. The group's leadership, Sayed Abu Naga Al-Saftawi and Mansour Ramadam received sentences of five years in prison with hard labor. Three group members received three years with hard labor, five received one year with hard labor. The two female defendants received suspended sentences.
© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)
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