Egyptian authorities escalated their crackdown on deposed President Mohamed Mursi's Muslim Brotherhood by arresting the Islamist organization's top leader, state media reported on Tuesday.

Mohamed Badie, 70, was detained at a residential apartment in Nasr City in northeast Cairo "after information came to the security apparatus locating his place of hiding," the state news agency reported.

The Interior Ministry's Facebook page showed a picture of Badie, with dark rings under his eyes, sitting in a car between two men in black body armour, with a caption confirming his arrest.

"Carrying out the decisions of the public prosecutor to arrest and bring forward the 'general guide' of the Muslim Brotherhood, Mohamed Badie, and through collected information and observation of movements, it was possible for the criminal search apparatus under the direction of Cairo's security (services) to arrest him," according to the caption.

Badie was charged in July with inciting the murder of protesters. Together with his two deputies, he is due to stand trial on August 25.

Interior Minister Mohamed Ibrahim told the Al Masry Al Youm newspaper that Badie was arrested in the early hours of Tuesday.

The military removed Mursi from power on July 3 after mass protests against his rule. Mursi, who was freely elected but alienated many Egyptians during his year in power, is in detention at an undisclosed location.

Egypt's public prosecutor pressed new charges against Mursi of inciting violence in a move coinciding with a court ruling on Monday that toppled military strongman Hosni Mubarak - arrested after his overthrow in 2011 - can no longer be held on a corruption charge.

Mursi was already facing an investigation into accusations stemming from his escape from prison during the anti-Mubarak revolt. These include murder and conspiring with the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas.

Almost 900 people, including more than 100 soldiers and police, have been killed since the authorities forcibly dispersed Muslim Brotherhood sit-ins in Cairo last Wednesday.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Monday called on Egyptian authorities to free Mursi, who faced mass street protests as he marked a first year in office on June 30, or at least ensure a transparent process.

Ban also said "the political space for the Muslim Brotherhood should be expanded, because their political space has been very limited."

"With such sharp polarisation in Egyptian society, both the authorities and the political leaders share the responsibility for ending the current violence. They should spare no effort to swiftly adopt a credible plan to contain the violence and revive the political process," Ban told a U.N. news conference.

The United States also urged Egypt not to ban the Muslim Brotherhood.

Founded in 1928, the Muslim Brotherhood used its organisational muscle to propel Mursi to power in last year's presidential election. The group says it has a membership of around one million people in Egypt. The group has inspired offshoots across the Arab world.

The Muslim Brotherhood emerged from decades as an outlawed movement to become the best organised political force after the downfall of Mubarak. Members of the Brotherhood - which renounced violence decades ago - are accused by the state of launching a campaign of militancy.

The 85-year-old Mubarak, arrested after his overthrow in 2011, can no longer be held on a corruption charge, a court ruled on Monday in a decision his lawyer said removed one of the last obstacles to his release on bail.

Fareed el-Deeb, Mubarak's lawyer, told Reuters: "All we have left is a simple administrative procedure that should take no more than 48 hours. He should be freed by the end of the week."

A judicial source, without confirming that Mubarak would be released, said Mubarak would spend at least two more weeks behind bars before the criminal court can make a final decision in another corruption case against him.

The United States said on Monday it was still reviewing whether to freeze any of the $1.55 billion it gives Egypt in mainly military annual aid. The United States has been a close ally of Egypt, the biggest nation in the Arab world, since it made peace with Israel in 1979.

The United States also voiced concern about the deaths on Sunday of 37 men who authorities said were suffocated by tear gas during a bid to flee custody.

"We are ... deeply troubled by the suspicious deaths of Muslim Brotherhood prisoners in a purported prison escape attempt near Cairo," State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters in Washington.

Having initially defended police action, Egypt later said that two officers had been arrested over the incident.

Egypt's second largest Islamic party, Nour, called in a statement for a presidential decree to create an independent fact-finding committee into the deaths of the 37 men and blamed the interior ministry for the incident.

European Union foreign ministers will hold an emergency meeting in Brussels on Wednesday to discuss how to force Egypt's army-backed government into seeking a peaceful compromise.

埃及当局对穆斯林兄弟会(下称“穆兄会”)的镇压进一步升级,穆兄会最高领导人穆罕默德 巴迪亚当天被捕。此外,有消息称,埃及前总统穆巴拉克有可能将会获释。而另一位前总统穆尔西的羁押时间再次被延长。

穆兄会最高领导人被捕

据埃及官方媒体20日报道,当天凌晨,穆兄会最高决策机构指导局主席巴迪亚在开罗东北部纳赛尔城的一间公寓里被捕。“警方确认了巴迪亚的藏身地点后,对其实施了逮捕,”报道中写道。

在埃及内政部的脸谱网(Facebook)官方主页上,发布了一张巴迪亚被捕的照片。照片中,巴迪亚的黑眼圈明显,两名身穿黑色防弹衣的男子将其夹在中间,三人一同坐在车里。照片下方还有一段文字说明:“执行公诉人的决定,逮捕并将带穆兄会最高领导人穆罕默德 巴迪亚出庭。依据现已掌握的信息,可能会进行刑事搜查。我们正在采取必要的法律措施。”

今年7月,埃及检方指控穆兄会最高领导人巴迪亚及另外两名高官涉嫌煽动暴力,要求将其提交刑事法庭审判。巴迪亚等三人被控6月份在开罗的穆兄会总部外煽动暴力和谋杀示威者,预计于8月25日出庭受审。

穆巴拉克有望获释

当地时间19日,埃及一个法庭撤销了对前总统穆巴拉克的一项腐败指控。穆巴拉克的律师法里德 迪卜称,这项裁决为穆巴拉克保释出狱清除了最后一个障碍,“我们需要做的只剩下完成一个简单的行政程序,耗时不超过48个小时,他应该会在本周内重获自由”。

不过,埃及司法部一名消息人士透露,在刑事法庭对穆巴拉克涉嫌的另一项腐败指控作出最终裁决前,穆巴拉克还需要在监狱里待上至少两周。但这名消息人士拒绝确认穆巴拉克最终是否会被释放。

分析人士认为,穆巴拉克能否于近期获得保释出狱,很大程度上将取决于主审法官的裁决。但考虑到当前的政治形势,穆巴拉克保释出狱的可能性不大。

2011年2月11日,穆巴拉克在大规模反政府示威中被迫辞职。随后,穆巴拉克被拘留,所受指控包括在2011年埃及政治动荡中武力镇压示威者以及腐败等。2012年6月2日,开罗刑事法院判处穆巴拉克终身监禁。今年1月,埃及最高上诉法院接受两项涉及穆巴拉克等人的上诉,宣布将重新审理穆巴拉克案。

穆尔西羁押时间延长

据埃及官方通讯社中东社报道,埃及检方19日下令,由于被控参与“暴力行为”,遭军方罢黜的埃及前总统穆尔西将再被羁押15天以进行调查。本月15日,埃及司法部门因另一宗案件,将穆尔西的羁押时间延长了30天。

报道称,穆尔西现面临参与拘留和虐待公民、谋杀、谋杀未遂和散播虚假信息等多项指控。倘若罪名成立的话,穆尔西最高或被判处终身监禁。穆尔西自7月3日遭罢黜后一直被军方羁押,但羁押地点一直没有公开。部分穆兄会成员宣称,穆尔西是无辜的,针对他的种种指控均具有政治动机。

19日,联合国秘书长潘基文公开呼吁埃及当局释放穆尔西。潘基文称,穆兄会面临的政治空间十分有限,应该向其提供“更大的政治空间”,“鉴于埃及社会急剧分化,埃及当局和政治领袖应该分担结束当前暴力冲突的责任。他们应当不遗余力地迅速采取可靠的措施,以平息骚乱、恢复政治进程”。

而美国政府19日也主张埃及当局释放穆尔西。“没有人认为羁押穆巴拉克是出于政治动机,”白宫发言人乔希 厄尼斯特称,“但是对于穆尔西被羁押一事,我们认为其中有非常明显的政治意图,这不符合人权标准。”

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