Brotherhood leader Bishr detained 15 days for 'espionage'

Ahram Online, Thursday 20 Nov 2014

Mohamed Ali Bishr, a minister under ousted president Mohamed Morsi, accused of spying for 'foreign states'

Egyptian authorities on Thursday ordered 15 days' detention for a Muslim Brotherhood leader who served as a cabinet minister under deposed president Mohamed Morsi, a judicial source said.

Mohamed Ali Bishr, who was arrested earlier in the day, is accused of "spying for foreign states," conspiring to commit violence and belonging to the Brotherhood - branded a terrorist organisation by Egypt's authorities.

Bishr served as minister of local development under Morsi, and after his ouster was a leader in an Islamist grouping, the National Alliance to Support Legitimacy, which has campaigned for the toppled leader's reinstatement.

"We reject the rabid attack against the components of the coalition and its members…and against the revolutionary student movement," the NASL said in a Thursday statement.

"Bishr's arrest is undoubtedly a new and big loss to the Egyptian political arena."

Following Morsi's ouster, Bishr was among a Brotherhood team that held talks with EU delegations to mediate between Islamists and the new authorities.

The case is the latest in an ongoing state crackdown on the Brotherhood and its supporters, which has seen hundreds of Islamists killed and thousands others rounded up.

Morsi himself and much of the group’s leadership are in jail facing trial on a myriad of charges that could carry the death sentence.

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