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News, August 2014
Egyptian Court Dissolves Freedom and Justice Party, Excluding the Muslim Brotherhood from Formal Participation in Parliamentary Elections
Egypt dissolves Muslim Brotherhood political party
CAIRO, Aug. 9, 2014 (Xinhua) --
An Egyptian court ruled on Saturday to dissolve the Freedom and Justice Party (FJP), the Muslim Brotherhood's political wing, and to liquidate all its assets, according to the state-run Ahram online.
The committee of the political parties' affairs, responsible for granting licenses to newly-formed parties in Egypt, had filed an official request to dissolve the party which was established after the January 25 uprising which toppled president Hosni Mubarak in 2011.
The Supreme Administrative Court's decision which dissolved the party was based on the investigations carried out by the State Security Prosecution which proved violations committed by the FJP to the conditions set for the work of the political parties in Egypt.
The State Commissioners' Authority had issued a report recommending the dissolution of the party, which was upheld by the court in Saturday's session.
The Muslim Brotherhood, from which ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi hails, has been blacklisted by authorities in Egypt as a terrorist group last February, and its members were also banned by a court ruling in April from running for presidential and parliamentary elections.
Morsi was toppled by the military last year after nationwide protests against his one-year rule.
Since the ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi last July, Brotherhood supporters have staged protests that often turned violent.
Last October, Egypt's Ministry of Social Solidarity dissolved the Muslim Brotherhood as a non-governmental organization (NGO). However, the court ruling hadn't applied over the FJP, which its formation is connected to the party laws not the NGOs jurisdictions.
The Muslim Brotherhood and its supporters have been facing a security crackdown. Thousands have been placed in prisons and hundreds have been killed in clashes with security forces.
The authorities are accusing the group of plotting attacks on the state security installations.
Egypt sentences Brotherhood top leader, 13 senior members to death
CAIRO, Aug. 7, 2014 (Xinhua) --
An Egyptian court on Thursday sentenced Mohamed Badei, a leader of the blacklisted Muslim Brotherhood, and 13 of the group's leading members to death over charges of inciting violence outside a mosque in Giza, official news agency MENA reported.
The verdict was referred to the Grand Mufti, the country's highest Islamic official whose opinion is usually considered a formality. The final verdict, which still can be appealed, will be issued in August 30.
Among the defendants were Muslim Brotherhood senior member Mohamed al-Beltagi, former lawmaker Essam al-Eryan and Brotherhood- oriented preacher Safwat Hegazi.
The accused were convicted of killing 10 people and wounding 20 others during the violenct attacks.
This is the third time that Badei has been handed a death sentence. He was also on a list of 683 pro-Brotherhood defendants who received mass death sentences in late April from an Upper Egyptian court, and on June 13 over similar charges.
In a separate case, an Upper Egypt-based Sohag Court on Thursday sentenced 20 Brotherhood members life in prison over violence, civil disobedience, assaulting state institutions, crippling public transportation, in addition to causing public disorder.
Since the ouster of former Islamist President Mohamed Morsi by the military last July, the interim leadership has launched a massive security crackdown on his supporters and affiliates, leaving more than 1,000 killed and thousands others arrested.
Morsi is now standing trial over charges including jailbreak, ordering the killing of protesters, spying and insulting the judiciary.
Egypt court dissolves Muslim Brotherhood's political wing
By Lin Noueihed
CAIRO Sat Aug 9, 2014 11:54am EDT
An Egyptian court on Saturday dissolved the Freedom and Justice Party (FJP), the political wing of the banned Muslim Brotherhood, dealing a crippling blow in the campaign to crush Egypt's oldest Islamist movement.
A court banned the Muslim Brotherhood itself in September, but that ruling did not mention its political wing, leaving open the possibility it could be allowed to run in parliamentary elections, due late this year.
Saturday's supreme administrative court ruling excludes the Brotherhood from formal participation in electoral politics, potentially forcing the movement underground, particularly as it has lost the sympathy of large swathes of the public.
The court's ruling called for the FJP to be dissolved and its assets seized by the state. Its decision is final and cannot be appealed, a judicial source said.
The FJP's lawyer called the ruling political and said it was unconstitutional to deprive the defense of the right to appeal. "The legal reasons given do not justify this ruling but this is a political decision to get rid, not just of the Freedom and Justice Party, but of all the parties that were established after the revolution of January 25, 2011," lawyer Mahmoud Abou al-Aynayn told Reuters.
"I expect other parties to be dissolved too." The Muslim Brotherhood, once Egypt's oldest, best organized and most successful political movement, has seen hundreds of its members killed and thousands detained since then-army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi overthrew elected president and Brotherhood member Mohamed Mursi 13 months ago, following weeks of protest.
Mursi, who ruled for a year, and other Brotherhood officials were rounded up in the wake of his ousting and hundreds have been sentenced to death in mass court rulings that have drawn criticism from Western governments and human rights groups.
Sisi, who went on to win a presidential election in May, vowed during his campaign the Brotherhood would cease to exist under his rule.
The FJP was established in June 2011, in the aftermath of the uprising that removed Hosni Mubarak from power after 30 years and inspired hopes for more pluralistic politics in Egypt.
It went on to win parliamentary and presidential elections, but many Egyptians became disillusioned with Mursi after he gave himself sweeping powers and mismanaged the economy, taking to the streets in protest and prompting the army move against him.
But the leading lights of the 2011 uprising, many of them secular youth activists, have also found themselves on the wrong side of the new political leadership, many of them receiving long sentences for breaching a new anti-protest law by taking part in small and peaceful gatherings.
The government accuses the Brotherhood of inciting violence and terrorism. Egypt's state and private media now portray the Brotherhood as a terrorist group and an enemy of the state.
The Brotherhood maintains it is a peaceful movement but attacks by militants have risen since the army overthrew Mursi.
Most of the violence has taken place in the Sinai Peninsula near the border with Israel and the Hamas-run Gaza Strip. The army has responded with air and ground attacks.
(Writing by Lin Noueihed; Editing by Alison Williams and Sophie Hares)
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