An Alexandrian court Tuesday referred numerous cases to the prosecutor general to rule on whether Turkey, alongside Egyptian political organisations including the 6 April Movement, should be officially designated terrorists or supporting terrorism.
The cases propose that Turkey, Hamas, the Anti-Coup Alliance, and 6 April Movement are guilty of terrorist activities and supporting terrorism in Egypt.
The lawsuits, submitted by lawyer Tariq Mahmoud, were passed by Judge Maged Abu Saud of Alexandria’s Court of Urgent Matters to an office of Egypt’s prosecutor general. This occurred in accordance with new stipulations on the handling of terrorist groups, according to state-owned news agency MENA.
Mahmoud is a leading figure in the Tahya Masr (Long Live Egypt) campaign coalition, and has submitted a range of pro-government and anti-Muslim Brotherhood cases in recent times.
The lawsuit against Turkey seeks to designate it as a “terrorism supporting state”, accusing it of shipping weapons to Egypt that end up in terrorist hands. The lawsuit also claims that Turkey acted as a base for operations that destabilise the Egyptian state.
Mahmoud, like many officials in Egypt, has called Turkey “a haven for the terrorist Muslim Brotherhood leaders”, in response to the pro-Brotherhood position of president Erdogan’s administration.
He also claims to have submitted documents that confirm the involvement of the 6 April Movement in terrorist acts and prove they receive external funding. He adds that the movement has been used as a tool by the Brotherhood to commit acts of violence to overthrow the state and of collaborating with foreign intelligence agencies.
A previous statement from the movement which helped ignite the 25 January Revolution which toppled former president Hosni Mubarak said the trial “summarises the situation in Egypt”.
The statement explained: “The organisation that was one of three nominees for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2011 for its role in spreading the culture of non-violent change…is threatened to be designated a terrorist entity in Egypt under the current regime.”
The movement also participated in protests that helped topple the Muslim Brotherhood regime in 2013.
A decree issued by President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi on 24 February approved a new “terrorist entities” law, detailing offences necessary for a group or organisation to be labelled a “terrorist entity”.
The law consists of 10 articles: Article 1 defines a terrorist entity as any group “practicing or intending to advocate by any means to disturb public order or endanger the safety of the community and its interests or risk its security or harm national unity”.
A similar lawsuit on Qatar is expected 29 March, and a separate case of terrorist charges on the 6 April Youth Movement under consideration by Cairo’s judiciary has been postponed to 20 April.