Egyptian police arrested a senior member of the Muslim Brotherhood ahead of the massive protests scheduled for Friday, official news agency MENA reported.

The security forces arrested Mohamed al-Beltagi in a small apartment in Tersa district in Giza governorate, along with Khaled al-Azhary, the former minister of manpower and immigration.


Beltagi was transferred to Tora prison in southern Cairo, where many other Muslim Brotherhood leaders are detained.

Known as the president of Rabaa Square where pro-President Morsi protesters had rallied for fifty days, Beltagi is the latest Brotherhood leader detained in the army’s crackdown on the movement.

In a pre-recorded video aired by Al-Jazeera TV Thursday, the same Brotherhood leader urged Morsi’s loyalists to be patient and resistant.

He insisted that Morsi’s supporters are defending the people’s right to live a free and dignified life and to choose their leader. He condemned the military coup that toppled Morsi.

The arrest came one day before the massive protests called by the National Alliance for Supporting Legitimacy, a pro-Morsi bloc, in an attempt to press for the reinstatement of the “legitimate leader.”

The alliance, comprising 33 Islamic movements including the Brotherhood, also announced a “peaceful civil disobedience plan” which will start Friday.


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