Junta Arrests Brotherhood Leaders as Mass Protest Called

Long-Banned Movement Sees Persecution's Return

Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, and its political wing the Freedom and Justice Party (FJP), have a long history of persecution at the hands of Egyptian authorities, and most of the leadership is familiar with open-ended detention without charge. After winning multiple elections in the last two years, there had been hope that this era was over.

But with yesterday’s coup it has come back, with a vengeance. Egypt’s military seized power from FJP President Mohamed Morsi, arrested him and his entire cabinet, and has set about arresting key members of the Muslim Brotherhood nationwide. The arrests have included both political and religious leaders, and have continued to pick up pace since the coup. Clashes have been reported, more are expected.

The group has a long history of operating clandestinely, and have become quite adept at it. With considerable political clout, however, they aren’t giving up just yet and returning to Mubarak-era anonymity.

Instead the group’s leadership, at least what hasn’t been arrested, are calling mass protests on Friday, calling it a “Friday of Rejection,” despite military warnings against challenging the new junta.

Egypt’s military was fine with last Friday’s anti-government protests, which precipitated their coup. How they will react to this Friday’s remains to be seen.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.