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Egypt releases opposition group leader after 3 month detention

[JURIST] Egypt Saturday released from prison Mahmoud Ezzat, secretary-general of the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood [official party website in Arabic; Wikipedia backgrounder] opposition group. Ezzat was arrested in May [JURIST report] in a crackdown on political protests, days before the country's referendum on a constitutional amendment introducing multi-candidate presidential elections [JURIST report]. The Muslim Brotherhood has been outspoken in its opposition to President Hosny Mubarak [official profile] and believes the amendment actually favors Mubarak by making it difficult for candidates without ties to his party to run; the new electoral regulations specify that a presidential candidate must either be a member of an officially-authorized political party or, if independent, get a minimum of 65 recommendations from elected members of the lower house, 25 from the Shura council and 10 from local councils from at least 14 governorates. Ezzat was released on bail and could still face charges for belonging to an outlawed organization. Egyptian authorities continue to detain another leading Muslim Brother, Essam el-Erian [Al Ahram profile/interview]. Reuters has more.

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