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March 17, 2019

Egypt puts 169 Brotherhood convicts on terror list


March 17, 2019

CAIRO: An Egyptian court has upheld an earlier verdict against 169 convicted members of the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood movement and placed them on the country’s terror list for the next five years.

On Saturday, Egypt’s Court of Cassation upheld a verdict against the suspects after a criminal court in May last year found them guilty of conspiring to infiltrate state institutions with the aim of overthrowing President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi’s government.

The suspects had appealed the ruling by the criminal court but on Saturday the Court of Cassation rejected their appeal. The decision is final and cannot be appealed.

The Muslim Brotherhood was outlawed as a “terrorist organisation” in late 2013 following the ouster of the country’s first democratically elected president, Mohamed Mursi, through a military coup by Sisi, who was at the time Mursi’s defence minister.

The Brotherhood, which fully supported Mursi, protested against the coup, but the pro-Mursi protests were brutally crushed in the August 2013 Rabaa massacre in which more than 800 civilians were killed.

The court’s decision is said to be based on state security investigations which purportedly revealed that those convicted had attempted to revive the Brotherhood’s activities by recruiting new members to its armed wings, spread rumors and provided financial and logistical assistance to the banned movement, which is Egypt’s oldest opposition movement.

According to Egypt’s anti-terrorism law, anyone who is put on the terror list cannot leave the country and their assets are frozen. Rights groups in Egypt and across the world have recorded cases of irregularities in the trials of political prisoners in the country.

They say the army’s clampdown on the supporters of Mursi has led to the death of some 1,500 people and the arrest of 22,000 others, including 200 people who have been sentenced to death in mass trials.

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