Leaders of pro-Brotherhood alliance arrested

As the Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated National Alliance Supporting Legitimacy braces for a day of protests on the first anniversary of the ouster of former Islamist President Mohamed Morsi, various leaders in the alliance have been arrested.

The alliance’s official spokesperson, Magdy Qorqor, and the general coordinator of the Islamist party Al-Istiqlal were arrested late Wednesday, while other leaders in the party and the alliance were also arrested two days ago.

Head of the party and chief editor of Al-Shaab newspaper, Magdy Hussien, was also arrested, but security forces failed to detain the party’s assistant general coordinator, Diaa al-Sawy. Acting president of the Jama’a al-Islamiya’s Building and Development Party, Nasr Abdel Salam, was also arrested, according to a statement by the alliance.

The alliance condemned the arrests in an official statement, adding that these kind of crackdowns will only further “ignite the revolution.”

“An arrest campaign one year after the bloody coup is an escalation against the people, after they declared their support for calls for another uprising during the July 3 protests, which have already achieved many goals before they even start,” the statement said.

The alliance described the arrested leaders in a previous statement as “the safety valve” of the revolution’s peacefulness, and stated that the arrests are attempts to push protesters to violence.

The alliance also reiterated its calls for an “escalatory” day on Thursday.

But the protests are expected to face a harsh crackdown as Cairo witnessed a series of small scale bombings late Wednesday night in Abbasseya, Kerdasa and Imababa, leaving one dead and others injured.

In the first reports of arrests against Brotherhood supporters on the day of mass protests, the official Middle East News Agency (MENA) said that a group of the organization’s supporters were arrested in the coastal city of Alexandria when they attempted to protest and block a road in the Attareen area.

Meanwhile, on Thursday, Cairo Criminal Court sentenced two individuals identified as Brotherhood supporters to ten years in maximum security prison, and another individual to five years in a maximum security facility, after they were convicted burning Heliopolis metro during protests in November. Two others were acquitted.

They were also fined LE653,000 – the value to the property they allegedly vandalized.

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