Egypt frees three opposition brotherhood candidates

By Staff Reporter, AFP –Cairo – Three opposition  Muslim Brotherhood candidates who were arrested  in Egypt’s November 28 legislative elections  have been released, a judiciary official said on Saturday.

The judicial source said the three freed candidates, who had been detained in Ismailia, were released on bail to appear in court at a later date charged with assaulting police officers.

The official said 16 Brotherhood members arrested in the port city of Ismailia will be charged with membership of an illegal organisation and using the slogan “Islam is the solution”, which is banned under electoral law.

Another 44 members of the group will appear in court charged with the illegal use of religious slogans while campaigning.

A Brotherhood official said 28 of the group’s members detained in Sharqiya face the same charges. All 44 are expected to be freed on bail ahead of court hearings on November 20, 21 and 23.

The Muslim Brotherhood, which controls a fifth of the current parliament, is the country’s largest opposition movement, despite a ban on religious parties. It registers its candidates as independents.

It plans to contest 134 out of the 508 seats up for election at the end of the month. The group has accused the government of arresting dozens of its members ahead of polling day.