Egypt: Further information on arrest of doctors and concern about their trial by military courts
There is grave concern at the arrest of a further six doctors on 9 October 1995: Dr Mahmoud 'Izzat, Dr 'Abd al-Mun'im Abu al-Futuh, Dr Anwar Shahhata, Dr Mohey al-Din al-Zayat, Dr Sa'ad Zaghlul al-'Ashmawi, Dr Mohammad Sa'ad. They are currently on trial in a military court, even though they are civilians, with 47 other members of the Muslim Brothers. Of the four doctors arrested on 22 January, two were released, the others, Dr 'Issam al-'Iryan and Dr Ibrahim al-Za'farani are among those on trial. It is believed that the arrests and charges stem from the fact that members of the Muslim Brothers had stated that they would stand as independent candidates in parliamentary elections due to be held in November 1995. The Muslim Brothers is an Islamist movement, which is officially banned, but until recently was allowed to operate freely. The organization does not advocate any use of violence and it is believed that the doctors and other members of the Muslim Brothers currently on trial are prisoners of conscience.