CAIRO (AFP) – Egyptian police released 16 senior Muslim Brotherhood leaders, including deputy chief Mahmud Ezzat, who are charged with organising “terrorist groups,” Ezzat said on Thursday.
Ezzat and the others were freed on bail on Wednesday after the Cairo Criminal Court ordered their release.
They were arrested in February on charges of forming “secret terrorist groups” and planning to overthrow the government.
Ezzat denied the charges and said the banned group, which wants an Islamic state achieved through peaceful means, was committed to its political programme.
“They have forever fabricated cases against us,” he told AFP.
Although banned, the Brotherhood holds one-fifth of seats in parliament after fielding independent candidates in the 2005 parliamentary elections.
It is expected to field fewer candidates in elections later this year because of a police crackdown, but Ezzat said the group was not fazed by the arrests.
“What we do is an obligation. Participation in public life is a duty and we are committed to our programme of reform,” he said.