Page last updated at 11:30 GMT, Monday, 29 March 2010 12:30 UK

Muslim Brotherhood accuses Egypt police of harassment

a Muslim Brotherhood demonstration in March 2010
The Muslim Brotherhood is a banned organisation in Egypt

Egypt's biggest opposition group has accused the police of "terrorising" members' wives and daughters during raids on their homes.

A statement from the group also accused the police of stealing belongings from the families.

The homes of members of the Muslim Brotherhood, which is banned in Egypt, are regularly raided by the authorities.

Human rights groups have criticised the government's record.

In a statement posted on its English Language website the Muslim Brotherhood condemned the "arbitrary arrests of members", the "terrorising of women and children", the "assault of Muslim Brotherhood neighbours" and the "confiscation of personal belongings".

The group said the assaults against the families of members happened on 23 March in Gharbeya and Giza provinces, by people they called "well-known and identifiable officers".

"The Muslim Brotherhood strongly condemns these violations which are contrary to the Islamic legislation, constitution, law, traditions, values and behaviour of Egyptians," the statement said.

The group said the actions of a few police officers would be "like poisonous seeds which may trigger tension", according to the statement.

There has been no official response from the government to the Muslim Brotherhood's accusations.

In the past the Egyptian government has said any police officer found guilty of breaking the law during raids will be punished.

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