State Commissioner to rule on legality of Rabaa sign

Menna Zaki
2 Min Read
Following the ouster of Muslim Brotherhood president Mohamed Morsi, the authorities launched a crackdown against the organisation, leading to thousands of arrests. The violent dispersal of protests in support of Morsi, including the large sit-ins in Rabaa Al-Adaweya and Al-Nahda squares in August 2013, has left hundreds dead (AFP File Photo)
Rabaa sign to be criminalised as a threat to national security. (AFP File Photo)
Rabaa sign to be criminalised as a threat to national security.
(AFP File Photo)

The Administrative Court referred a lawsuit to the State’s Commissioner Authority asking the government to issue a law to criminalise the use of the Rabaa Al-Adaweya hand gesture.

The lawsuit was filed by Tarek Mahmoud, legal advisor for the Popular Front against the “Brotherhoodisation” of Egypt.

According to Mahmoud, the Rabaa sign is related to violence and vandalism. “Wherever there is a Rabaa sign there is violence, as the Rabaa sign is a sign for the initiation of violence wherever it’s raised,” he said.

Additionally, the sign is sometimes raised in international conferences, “an insult to the country’s dignity”, and so it should be criminalised, he added.

Amr Hassan, a lawyer for the Association for Freedom of Thought and Expression (AFTE), said that a criminalisation would violate the freedom of expression. The Rabaa sign, four raised fingers, represents an expression of people’s opinion and show solidarity with people present at the Rabaa Al-Adaweya dispersal in August 2013, he said.

Hassan noted that it is not a sign for the initiation of violence, nor does it symbolise violence or vandalism, adding that it is expected the lawsuit will be rejected.

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