Egypt arrests 229 Muslim Brotherhood supporters

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Egypt has arrested hundreds of supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood movement over their alleged involvement in street protests against price hikes.

Egyptian officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that 229 people were detained from several provinces, including the capital, Cairo, Friday.

They are accused of responding to calls by the Brotherhood movement to stage a mass protest across the country against the deteriorating economic situation.

Cairo has been engaged in a crackdown on the opposition since democratically-elected President Mohamed Morsi, a senior Brotherhood leader, was ousted in July 2013 in a military coup.

The coup was led by the then head of the armed forces and incumbent President General Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.

The Egyptian courts have held mass trials for thousands of Muslim Brotherhood supporters and members since Sisi took power in June 2014. 

Sisi claims the judiciary is acting independently. The army general denies international accusations of direct involvement in the trials, which have seen hundreds, including Morsi and top Brotherhood leadership, receiving death sentences or lengthy prison terms.

The military-backed Cairo government has outlawed Brotherhood, Egypt’s oldest opposition movement which operated under numerous restrictions during the era of the country’s former dictator, Hosni Mubarak.

Rights groups say the army’s crackdown has led to the deaths of over 1,400 people and the arrest of 22,000 others, including some 200 people who have been sentenced to death in mass trials.

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