Thursday, August 18

Muslim Brotherhood banned

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Egyptian court also orders the seizure of its funds and freezes its assets

CAIRO: An Egyptian court on Monday banned deposed President Mohamed Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood and ordered its funds seized, a crippling strike in the campaign to crush the Islamist movement.

The case was brought by a lawyer from the leftist Tagammu party on the grounds of protecting Egyptians from violence.

It was not stated if he was acting at the instigation of the army-backed government, which is mounting one of the fiercest crackdowns against the group in decades.

“The court bans the activities of the Muslim Brotherhood organisation and its non-governmental organisation and all the activities that it participates in and any organisation derived from it,” presiding Judge Mohammed al-Sayed said in a ruling.

He also ordered the government to seize the Brotherhood’s funds and administer its frozen assets.

The ruling did not specifically mention the Brotherhood’s political wing, the Freedom and Justice Party.

But the state news agency quoted Freedom and Justice Party spokesman Hamza Zawbaa as saying the party rejected the ruling and would appeal.

“What is happening to the Brotherhood translates to a return of the police state after having removed it through the January 25 revolution,” he said, describing the revolt that toppled autocrat Hosni Mubarak in 2011.

In Washington, a US State Department spokeswoman said it was unclear how the decision would be implemented and the Obama administration was seeking more information.

Spokeswoman Jen Psaki reiterated that the United States wanted to see an inclusive political process involving all Egyptians and leading to a return to democratic, civilian rule.

“All parties should avoid steps that would undermine this process,” she said.

The Brotherhood has seen hundreds of its members killed and thousands arrested since the army overthrew Morsi in July.

The ruling may force the Brotherhood to go underground, especially as public support for it has dropped. — Reuters