Egyptian Court Upholds Ban on Muslim Brotherhood
An appeals court for urgent matters in Egypt turned down Saturday a legal challenge by members of the Muslim Brotherhood against a verdict ordering the seizure of the group's funds by the interim government.
According to the Al Ahram newspaper, the court upheld the verdict, declaring that the Brotherhood's funds, assets and NGO would remain seized.
The appeal was filed against both Prime Minister Hazem El-Beblawi and Minister of Social Solidarity Ahmed El-Borai, the report said.
The initial verdict, issued on September 23, banned the Muslim Brotherhood and its NGO, leaving the Islamist group with no legal status.
The Brotherhood existed outside Egyptian law for decades and was only officially registered as an NGO in March 2013. The registration came after a panel of judges recommended the movement’s dissolution.
The group has criticized the verdict, saying it was issued by “an incompetent court,” and should have been dealt with by the administrative court.
The Muslim Brotherhood has been the subject of a wide-ranging crackdown since the army ousted its president, Mohammed Morsi, last July.
Last month, Egypt froze the assets of more than 500 leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood.
The Muslim Brotherhood has also been blacklisted as a "terrorist organization". That designation came a day after a massive suicide car bombing in the Nile Delta city of Mansoura killed 16 people and wounded more than 100.
The Mansoura attack was claimed by Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, a Sinai-based Al Qaeda-inspired group which has claimed various attacks in and outside the Sinai peninsula, but Egypt’s government has said that there is a link between the Muslim Brotherhood and the ongoing terrorism in the country.
The Brotherhood has denied any connection to terrorism in Egypt.