Prosecutor General Hisham Barakat listed Sunday leading figures in the banned Muslim Brotherhood group as “terrorists”, based on the new “terrorist entities” law.
Members include the Supreme Guide of the Muslim Brotherhood Mohamed Badie, prominent leader in the Freedom and Justice Party Mohamed Al-Beltagy, former head of the Parliament Saad El-Katatny, as well as other members in the Supreme Guide Bureau.
The defendants are being prosecuted in different cases, where some of them have received either sentences of life imprisonment or death sentences.
In February, President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi issued a decree approving the “terrorist entities” law, detailing offences necessary for a group or organisation to be labelled a “terrorist entity”, as published in state newspaper The Egyptian Gazette.
Egypt’s State Council approved the draft law on “terrorist entities” in December, which would allow for the dissolution of these entities and putting an end to their activities. The draft law, which consists of 10 articles, was also approved by the cabinet in November. 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”.
The law tasks the prosecution with creating a list with the names of terrorist entities and a list with the names of people in or associated with terrorist entities. This includes the names of the leaders, founders, members or participants of the group and can also extend to people who provide “information or support in any way” the listed group.
The Muslim Brotherhood responded to the listing by describing it as an attempt to list a “number of January Revolution symbols from the leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood as terrorists”.
“This decision is null and void. History will remember how a junta that toppled a legitimate government by force of arms turned to accuse of terrorism those who decided to rise in revolt,” the group’s official spokesperson said.
In a recent development, a Cairo court sentenced Sunday the wife and son of prominent Brotherhood leader Mohamed Al-Beltagy to six months for assaulting the security personnel of the court. The two defendants were arrested during a visit to their relative.
Al-Beltagy was arrested after the forced dispersal of the Rabaa Al-Adaweya sit-in in August 2013, where his daughter Assma was killed. He is being prosecuted in different cases related to inciting violence and murder.
Many members of the outlawed group have been sacked from various syndicates, charity groups, and mosques, and had their assets frozen. Currently, belonging to the group or indicating support to it is considered a crime.