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Egypt orders release of Muslim Brotherhood members

[JURIST] The Egyptian government ordered Sunday that five members of the banned Muslim Brotherhood [party website in Arabic; Wikipedia backgrounder] be released after they had been detained for five months without charges. The Muslim Brotherhood, established in 1928 and banned in 1954, renounced violence in the 1970s and is thought to be Egypt's largest Islamist group. The order comes after the recent release of Mahmoud Ezzat [JURIST report], the Brotherhood's secretary-general. Ezzat, together with Yasser Abdou, Essam el-Erian [Al Ahram profile] and three other members, were arrested in May after being accused of instigating anti-government protests prior to the country's multi-candidate presidential elections [JURIST report]. The elections have been denounced by rights groups [JURIST report] amid accusations of voter fraud [JURIST report] after Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak [official profile; BBC profile] was re-elected to another six-year term [JURIST report] in a landslide victory. The Muslim Brotherhood, opposed to Mubarak, has 15 supporters sitting as independents in parliament. AP has more.

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