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Egypt

Egyptian court bans Muslim Brotherhood

An Egyptian court has banned the Muslim Brotherhood. The move comes as part of a crackdown on the Islamist group in which more than 1,000 members have been arrested.

The Cairo court’s ruling specifically banned any activities by the Muslim Brotherhood, which backs ousted Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi, and any affiliated institutions. The court also ordered the seizure of any assets held by the Brotherhood, estimated by the interim military-backed government to have more than a million members. Additionally, judges recommended that Egypt’s caretaker Cabinet form an independent committee to follow up on the implementation of the ruling.

"The court bans the activities of the Muslim Brotherhood organization and its nongovernmental organization and all the activities that it participates in and any organization derived from it," presiding judge Mohammed al-Sayed said.

After Morsi's July 3 ouster, Muslim Brotherhood followers held numerous mass demonstrations calling for his reinstatement and denouncing the caretaker regime as illegal. In response, the interim authorities have waged violent crackdowns on demonstrators and arrested more than 1,000 members of the Muslim Brotherhood, leading to heightened tensions in Cairo and several other major cities.

For decades under various governments, Egypt had banned the Muslim Brotherhood, founded in 1928, though the regime of Hosni Mubarak had largely tolerated the movement. Following Mubarak's ouster in Egypt’s 2011 revolution, the Muslim Brotherhood lanuched its own political faction, the Freedom and Justice Party, which won parliamentary and presidential elections in 2012. It remains unclear whether the court’s ruling will affect that party as well.

There were no immediate comments available from the Muslim Brotherhood.

mkg/hc (AP, AFP, Reuters, dpa)