Muslim Brotherhood Leader Arrested in Egypt

FILE - Essam el-Erian, deputy head of the Freedom and Justice Party, speaks during Egypt's Shura Council meeting in Cairo, May 25, 2013.

FILE – Essam el-Erian, deputy head of the Freedom and Justice Party, speaks during Egypt’s Shura Council meeting in Cairo, May 25, 2013.

VOA News, Egyptian authorities have arrested another senior member of the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood, continuing a crackdown against the group following the military ouster of president Mohamed Morsi.

Security forces arrested Essam el-Erian, the deputy leader of the Brotherhood’s political wing, at a home Wednesday in New Cairo. He had been in hiding and was one of the few top Brotherhood officials who remained free.

Hundreds of Brotherhood leaders, including Morsi, have been arrested since July and charged with inciting violence. The deposed leader’s supporters have carried out mass protests demanding he be reinstated. Some of the demonstrations have turned violent.

More than 1,000 people, mostly Islamists, have been killed during the crackdown.

On Tuesday, three judges presiding over the trial of 35 Brotherhood members stepped down, saying they felt “uneasy” about the proceedings but giving no specific details.

However, judicial officials said the judges withdrew because the Interior Ministry would not allow the defendants to sit in the courtroom.

The development means a new set of judges will be assigned and that the trial will have to start over.

The defendants, including Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohamed Badie, are accused of inciting violence that led to the deaths of nine protesters outside Brotherhood headquarters last December.

Morsi is accused of inciting violence that cased the deaths of other protesters in June. His trial is set to begin November 4.

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