By Maha AbdelAzim
The Administrative Court has postponed the lawsuit to legally declare the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organisation to 18 March, according to state-run Al-Ahram.
The prosecution stated its support for “the masses of people who went out on 30 June in a revolution witnessed by the world to declare its opposition to Muslim Brotherhood rule,” and urged that the ruling go forward “incomprehensible danger [the Brotherhood] poses.”
On 25 December, the Egyptian cabinet declared the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organisation. Director of Alhaqanya Law Centre Mohamed Abdel Aziz previously told Daily News Egypt, the cabinet’s decision is executive, not judicial. This means that although the organisation is banned, no one can be tried for terrorism for simply for membership unless it is proven that they actually committed an act of terrorism as stipulated by Egyptian law.
The current lawsuit would thus have the Administrative Court determine whether the cabinet’s decision fulfils the required criteria in order to pass as a court ruling.
A court ruling naming the Brotherhood as a terrorist organisation would mean that anyone proven to be affiliated with it could tried for terrorism, even if they had not committed any acts of terrorism.
The cabinet’s December decision was followed by the freezing of the assets of 1,055 NGOs with alleged links to the Muslim Brotherhood, in addition to shutting down the Freedom and Justice Party newspaper.
The cabinet also announced that the Muslim Brotherhood would be held accountable under Article 86 of the Egyptian penal code, which entails handing verdicts to leaders, members, and affiliates that range from five years in prison to the death sentence.
The cabinet’s decision came soon after the bombing of the Al-Daqahleya security directorate, which left 16 dead and over 100 injured, despite the Muslim Brotherhood condemning the attack.