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Egypt arrests two Muslim Brotherhood lawmakers

[JURIST] Egyptian officials on Wednesday arrested two lawmakers from the Muslim Brotherhood [party website; FAS backgrounder] in order to question them in a case involving "other Brotherhood members," according to a police official speaking anonymously. The Brotherhood, banned from officially participating in Egyptian politics, denounced the "arbitrary" arrests [statement]:

The MB Bloc sees the detention of both MPs as a part of the ongoing security escalation practiced by the Egyptian regime against the Muslim Brotherhood....

The People's Assembly approved in its session on [May 9, 2007] lifting immunity on both MPs to take criminal procedures against them. However, no action was taken against them and they haven't been subpoenaed since then. This confirms that today's detentions are, legally speaking, arbitrary actions against two public figures, and that raiding their houses and their offices confirm that there is a specific message and a target from these actions. The message and target are humiliating MPs and exploiting the prosecution as a tool in the hands of the regime to to settle scores with opposition.
When parliament voted [JURIST report] to strip lawmakers Sabri Amer and Ragab Abu Zaid of their immunity in May, Zeid labeled the decision a government-orchestrated attempt to intimidate the Brotherhood. Under Egyptian law, legislators enjoy immunity from prosecution unless the parliament votes to remove it.

The Brotherhood has been banned since 1954, but its members run as independents and the organization has grown into Egypt's most powerful opposition movement with 88 seats in the 454-seat parliament. AP has more.

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Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

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