Conflict & Justice

Muslim Brotherhood leader Beltagi arrested


A picture taken August 4, 2013 shows Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohamed al-Beltagi talking with foreign media during an interview at the Rabaa al-Adawiya mosque in Cairo. Beltagi is the latest top-ranking member of the Brotherhood to be arrested for inciting violence.



Egyptian police on Thursday arrested Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohamed al-Beltagi, the secretary-general of the Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party.

Beltagi, who was taken into custody in a village near Cairo, is charged with inciting violence. He has been outspoken about his opposition to the military coup that removed Islamist President Mohamed Morsi from power. He is one of many Brotherhood leaders to be detained in recent weeks.

Beltagi has issued numerous defiant video messages, including his latest recorded statement urging Egyptians to join Friday's planned rallies against the military, which aired on the Al Jazeera TV news network earlier this week.

Former Labor Minister Khaled al-Azhari was also held on Thursday. The group's top leader, Mohamed Badie, along with most of its senior leadership, was previously arrested.

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Badie and his deputies, Khairat al-Shater and Rashad Bayoumy, are now standing trial on charges of inciting violence for their involvement in the killing of protesters who stormed their headquarters on June 30.

The three have dismissed the prosecution as politically motivated.

Egypt's interim government has called the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization. Hundreds of its members have been detained.