Egyptian police detain Islamists in Nile delta

144.jpgCAIRO (Reuters) – Egyptian police have detained three Muslim Brotherhood candidates to the upper house of parliament as they campaigned in the Nile Delta province of Dakahlia, Brotherhood and security sources said on Monday.

The latest detentions, which occurred on Sunday night, bring to 63 the number of Brotherhood members arrested in the province since Egypt’s largest opposition group said it would contest the June 11 upper house elections, the group’s Web site said.

At least one of the candidates, Khaled el-Deeb, was charged with belonging to a banned group, using religious slogans for his election campaign and campaigning outside an allowed time period, the Web site added.

 The government began a crackdown on the movement late last year and made constitutional changes this year which make it harder for the Brotherhood to take part in political life.

The amendments passed in March include a ban on political activities based on religion, which analysts say could be used to disqualify Brotherhood candidates, who campaign under the slogan “Islam is the solution”.

The Brotherhood, which has 88 seats in the 454-seat lower house of parliament, had planned to field about 20 candidates for the 88 seats in the upper house, or Shoura Council, but state security has prevented some members from submitting their papers, the group has said.

Egyptian police detained at least 20 members of the Brotherhood in Dakahlia last week.

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