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Egyptian Authorities Detain Daughter of Senior Muslim Brotherhood Leader

FILE - Policemen stand guard in Tahrir Square in Cairo, Egypt.

Egyptian security forces have detained the daughter of former presidential candidate and senior Muslim Brotherhood leader Khairat al-Shater, family members and two security sources said on Thursday.

Aisha al-Shater was one of six women arrested overnight. They also included Huda Abd al-Moneim, a lawyer and member of the now-banned Muslim Brotherhood.

The Interior Ministry could not immediately be reached for comment.

Shater’s apartment was raided at around 11 p.m. (2100 GMT) on Wednesday, and she and her husband were taken to an unknown location, her sister Hafsa said.

“We don’t know why they took her,” she said, adding that no reasons were given for the arrest. “We are not involved in any political work.”

Khairat al-Shater, a former deputy leader of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, has been in jail since July 2013 after the army led by general-turned-president Abdel Fattah el-Sissi ousted the country's first freely elected president, Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood, following mass protests against his one-year rule.

Morsi was propelled into the presidential campaign in 2012 when Khairat al-Shater was disqualified on the grounds of a past criminal conviction.

Abd al-Moneim, who was detained at around 1 a.m. on Thursday, was banned from travelling abroad five years ago after speaking at a conference in Europe about the violence used by security forces in 2013 on demonstrators protesting against Morsi’s overthrow, her daughter Gihad Badawy said.

No arrest warrant was presented and no reason was given for her arrest, she said.

“We worry about her health. She had a blood clot in her leg ... they wouldn’t let her take her medicine,” Badawy said.

The Brotherhood won Egypt’s first free elections after the 2011 uprising that ended Hosni Mubarak’s 30-year rule.

President Sissi, who as army chief deposed Morsi, has since overseen a crackdown on his opponents in which hundreds of Brotherhood supporters, including Morsi and Shater, have been jailed.

Sissi’s supporters say he is working to keep Egypt stable after years of political and economic turmoil following the 2011 uprising.