Egyptian Court Sets Date For Verdict of 22 Muslim Brothers
An Egyptian military court set April 7th for the verdict in the trial of 22 people charged with trying to revive the activities of the banned Muslim Brotherhood, the state-run Middle East News Agency (MENA) said Sunday.
On January 29th, a military prosecutor demanded that the 22 alleged members of the Brotherhood receive life sentences, which could mean 25 years in prison with forced labor, AFP reported.
The prosecutor repeated accusations that the defendants made "attempts to re-launch the activities of the movement."
He said that they were trying to spread ideas among the working classes "with the goal of taking power," judicial sources said at the time.
Several of the defendants are also accused of founding an information technology company and collecting donations to finance the group.
Membership in the Muslim Brotherhood is itself illegal, in spite of the fact it forms the largest movement in opposition to the Egyptian government.
Among the defendants are nine university professors as well as five doctors and three engineers.
The Muslim Brotherhood calls for the creation of an Islamic state in Egypt, but rejects armed struggle against the regime. The Brotherhood, which has affiliates throughout the Arab world, issued a statement in December condemning the trial saying it was "not based on any tangible evidence."
Numerous local and international rights groups have also condemned the trials of civilians in Egypt's military courts. The trial, which began in December, is the country's third major military prosecution of alleged members of the Islamist group since 1995.
It should be noted that since the terror attacks of September 11 on the United States, Egyptian authorities have showed increased severity towards Islamist groups. (Albawaba.com)
© 2002 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)