CAIRO: Declaring the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization for the second time means the government “is trying to find a cover for terrorizing peaceful protesters,” the National Alliance to Support Legitimacy said in a Friday statement.
Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab issued a decree April 8 enforcing a Dec. 25, 2013 ruling which designated the Brotherhood as “terrorist,”applying legal penalties to anyone who joins or continues to be a member of the group after the issuance of this decision.
Anyone funding the group, partaking in its activities or promoting it verbally, in writing or in any other means, would be legally held accountable, according to the decision.
The alliance said it “reiterates that the Brotherhood is against violence and terrorism,” adding that the Cabinet’s decision aims to “terrorize the Brotherhood and the Egyptian people,” and added that the decision is based on a ruling of a court that lacks jurisdiction [in such matters.]
“The interim prime ministers, who are technocrats and not politicians, are desperately trying to impact [and avoid] international prosecutions for the coup [leaders],” NASL said.
Cairo Court of Urgent Matters issued a ruling in February binding the government to make a legal provision defining the Brotherhood as a terrorist group. Former Prime Minister Hazem al-Beblawy had already designated the group as terrorist December 25, 2013.
Several bombings have hit military and police targets in Egypt since the dispersal of pro-Brotherhood sit-ins in August, killing dozens of police and military personnel and also civilian bystanders. The bombings have been generally been blamed on the Brotherhood by several politicians, parties, and segments of the public who called for declaring the group terrorist.
A Twitter account associated with Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, recently listed a Foreign Terrorist Organization by the U.S., claimed responsibility for bombing a tourist bus in Taba, the northernmost resort city in South Sinai and the closest border point to Israel, killing three Koreans and an Egyptian in February.
Coordinator of NASL Magdy Qorqor said the April 8 decision “infringes on freedom of opinion and thought.”
“You can take action against someone who ‘promotes violence,’ but ‘promoting’ the Brotherhood is not ‘promoting violence.’” Qorqor told The Cairo Post Thursday.