[JURIST] Egyptian police Monday arrested 31 additional members of the banned Muslim Brotherhood [movement website; FAS backgrounder] group, bringing the total number of members arrested to 700, according to officers speaking on condition of anonymity. The members were arrested for allegedly holding meetings in apartments located in Marsa Matrouh, which is approximately 325 miles from Cairo. The Muslim Brotherhood is the largest Islamic group in Egypt [JURIST news archive] and, while it is considered to be illegal, the group currently holds 88 seats in the Egyptian Parliament [official website] and is believed to have tens of thousands of members.
The Egyptian government began arresting members [JURIST report] in March after the group protested against the extension of the country's emergency laws [JURIST report] and staged demonstrations in support of two judges who were put before a disciplinary panel [JURIST report] for revealing that some of their colleagues had allowed fraud [JURIST report] in last November's parliamentary elections. Last week, three independent UN experts petitioned the Egyptian government to protect the independence of the country's judiciary [JURIST report], and the US has also called on the country to work toward greater democracy after condemning Egypt's policy towards activists, including two individuals who accused police of sexual abuse and torture [JURIST report] while in custody. AP has more.