[JURIST] Egyptian authorities on Thursday arrested a top Muslim Brotherhood [JURIST news archive] member who played a key role in negotiations between the group and the Egyptian government. A security official said the arrest of Mohammed Ali Bishr was linked [AP report] to a call for demonstrations at the end of the month. The demonstrations were called by hard-line Islamist group Salafi Front, and not by the Muslim Brotherhood.
In a government crackdown since the army ousted [JURIST report] Mohammed Morsi last July, thousands of Muslim Brotherhood members and supporters have been jailed, often with lengthy prison terms. Last month an Egyptian court jailed [JURIST report] eight men, including two Muslim Brotherhood leaders, for 15 years over the torture of a lawyer during 2011 uprisings against former president Hosni Mubarak [JURIST news archive]. Earlier in October an Egyptian judge was removed from his position [JURIST report] on the Minya Criminal Court of Egypt [Middle East Monitor news archive] to a seat on the civilian judicial court in Egypt. The Minya court, known as one of the nation’s terrorism courts, was the forum for two mass sentences of hundreds of Islamic supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood earlier this year. In June human rights experts were outraged over the mass death sentence confirmed [JURIST reports] for 183 people. The ruling simultaneously acquitted over 400 people. In March 529 Morsi supporters had been sentenced to death [JURIST report] in one controversial judicial proceeding.