Rights group: Egyptian authorities silencing critics as election nears

By Amir Ahmed, CNN November 21, 2010 6:05 a.m. EST

  • Amnesty International says it has documented hundreds of arrests since October
  • Egypt’s biggest opposition bloc says the government arrested more than 1,000 of its supporters
  • Witnesses say police used tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse a crowd at a rally
  • The country’s parliamentary elections are November 28

(CNN) — A major human rights group called on
Egyptian authorities Sunday to refrain from harassing candidates and
their supporters after security forces reportedly arrested hundreds of
activists from the biggest opposition bloc.

London-based Amnesty
International accused Egyptian authorities of silencing critics in the
runup to the November 28 parliamentary elections.

“Egyptians …
considered a threat to public order or security, have faced arrest,
detention, criminal charges and the threat of detention without charge
or trial under the emergency law,” the group said in a statement
released Sunday.

Senior members of the country’s ruling party, the National Democratic Party, have dismissed such accusations.

Muslim Brotherhood, which has been officially banned — but tolerated
— since 1954, is widely seen as the main opposition to the ruling
party. Its members run as indepe… >>>

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