Egypt's Crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood Continues

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Dec. 31 2013 12:41 PM

Egypt's Crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood Continues

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An Egyptian riot policeman detains a female student of al-Azhar University during a protest by students who support the Muslim Brotherhood.

Photo by MAHMOUD KHALED/AFP/Getty Images

As part of its brutal crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood and its supporters, Egyptian security forces arrested Anas Beltagi, son of a Brotherhood leader, on Monday, according to Reuters. Beltagi has been charged with the crime of inciting violence; when arrested, he was in possession of a shotgun and amunition. 

Mark Joseph Stern Mark Joseph Stern

Mark Joseph Stern is a writer for Slate. He covers science, the law, and LGBTQ issues.

Leaders of the Brotherhood have been systematically arrested since the Egyptian military's coup against President Morsi, a Brotherhood member, in July. Since then, the Brotherhood has been declared illegal, and many of Morsi's supporters have been tossed in jail. In recent months, the crackdown has escalated, leading most recently to the arrest of four Al Jazeera journalists accused of aiding the Brotherhood. The government has blamed the Brotherhood for several acts of violence, declaring the movement a terrorist group. From ABC News:

"Egypt was horrified from north to south by the hideous crime committed by the Muslim Brotherhood group," [Hossam Eissa, the Minister of Higher Education] said. "This was in context of dangerous escalation to violence against Egypt and Egyptians (and) a clear declaration by the Muslim Brotherhood group that it is still knows nothing but violence."
"It's not possible for Egypt the state nor Egypt the people to submit to the Muslim Brotherhood terrorism," he added.
Eissa offered no evidence in his speech linking the Brotherhood to Tuesday's attack.
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Not everyone is pleased with the new label, however. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has expressed reservations about the movement's villification, while—on the antipodal side of the spectrum—the Palestinian group Hamas has declared its support of the Brotherhood.

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