Muslim Brotherhood leader Badie held in custody | Middle East| News and analysis of events in the Arab world | DW | 20.08.2013
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Middle East

Muslim Brotherhood leader Badie held in custody

The spiritual leader of the Muslim Brotherhood must remain in custody to face allegations of inciting violence. The decision came a day after prosecutors prolonged ousted President Mohammed Morsi's detention.

Following interrogation by prosecutors, Muslim Brotherhood supreme guide Mohammed Badie was remanded to 15 days in custody beginning Tuesday, according to Egyptian state media. The spiritual leader of the Islamist political group faces allegations of involvement in the deaths of protesters outside of the presidential palace in December, as well as inciting violence at a Republican Guard facility in June.

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Head of Brotherhood Arrested in Cairo

Egyptian authorities arrested Badie, 70, late Monday after receiving information about his whereabouts. They reportedly found him in an apartment in the Nasr City district in eastern Cairo. His hiding place lay in the vicinity of the Brotherhood's largest sit-in site, which Egyptian police forcibly cleared last week, sparking deadly clashes that continued several days between security forces and civilians.

The military's removal of Morsi from power in early July has heightened tensions between Muslim Brotherhood members - whose backing helped bring the first democratically elected president to power in 2012 following the downfall of Hosni Mubarak's regime the previous year - and the opposition, which seeks fresh elections.

The Muslim Brotherhood has organized numerous counterdemonstrations in the weeks since the military installed an interim government. Many Brotherhood leaders and midranking members have since evaded authorities who have worked to quash mass calls for Morsi's reinstatement through crackdowns and arrests.

On Monday, prosecutors announced they would detain Morsi for 15 more days. He has remained at an undisclosed location since early July.

EU leaders to meet

The unrest in Egypt has drawn concern from world leaders. German Chancellor Angela Merkel vowed to continue diplomatic efforts in an interview published in the Tuesday edition of the Passauer Neue Presse newspaper.

"We demand emphatically that the democratic process is restarted as quickly as possible and that all political powers can take part in it," she said.

EU foreign ministers are scheduled to convene for an emergency meeting on the crisis in Egypt on Wednesday.

At least 800 people, the majority of them Muslim Brotherhood supporters, are believed to have been killed since violence broke out last Wednesday.

kms/mkg (AP, AFP, Reuters, dpa)

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