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Egypt arrests dozens more Muslim Brotherhood members and shuts NGOs

Clampdown on outlawed group shows no sign of abating, with further arrests this week and NGOs with alleged links forced to close
An Egyptian policeman stands in the middle of al-Haram street in Cairo on 14 August 2014, during clashes with Muslim Brotherhood supporters (AFP)

Egyptian security forces have shut down 14 non-governmental organisations that they said belong to the Muslim Brotherhood group, as well as carrying out a string of arrests. 

According to a statement released on Tuesday, social security minister Ghada Wali said the NGOs had been dissolved following a court ruling that banned the Brotherhood and seized its funds.

This is the fifth time that NGOs with alleged links to the Muslim Brotherhood have been shut down this year in Egypt, bringing the total number to 444.

Antar Abdullah, the head of the recently dissolved Bridges Society for Development and Democracy, denied any links to the Brotherhood and threatened to sue the government to reverse its decision. “The NGO neither has nor receives any funds from the Muslim Brotherhood,” he said.

The latest crackdown on allegedly Brotherhood-affiliated NGOs comes in the midst of an ongoing clampdown against the group, with a fresh string of arrests taking place this week.

According to the interior ministry, 30 Muslim Brotherhood members were arrested in fresh raids on Tuesday for alleged charges of violence and incitement, although the raids were only made public on Wednesday.

The arrests come shortly after 48 other Muslim Brotherhood members were arrested in separate raids on Monday, with the incidents only being announced the following day.

Their arrest came just hours after 13 other Muslim Brotherhood members were arrested for their alleged involvement in militant attacks in the Sinai.

In September 2013, an Egyptian court banned the activities of the decades-old Muslim Brotherhood, the group from which former president Mohamed Morsi hails. It was declared a terrorist group at the end of the same year. Tens of thousands of its supporters have since been imprisoned and hundreds sentenced to death in controversial mass trials.

The Brotherhood insisted that it is committed to peaceful activism to reverse the 2013 popular-backed coup against Morsi.