CAIRO: Giving the four-finger salute indicating solidarity with those dispersed at the Rabaa al-Adaweya sit-in in August 2013 may soon be illegal, due to a new lawsuit filed by lawyer Tarek Mahmoud with the State’s Commissioner Authority.
“This sign divides Egyptians, and calls for division and racism,” Mahmoud said in his lawsuit statement.
Mahmoud has demanded in his suit to criminalize the hand gesture, which he said he considers “a sign of a terrorist group,” reported Youm7. Mahmoud also asked both the ministers of interior and justice in his suit to implement the official dissolution of the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist by the legal prohibition of using their sign.
The dispersal of the pro-Brotherhood sit-in killed at least 600 protestors, although a number of NGOs have estimated as many as 1,200 persons died. A Human Rights Watch delegation was recently denied entry to Egypt, a day before they were planning to present a report on the dispersal on its first anniversary; the report stated that the actions taken by the government could amount to crimes against humanity.
The Muslim Brotherhood was declared a terrorist group by the government Dec. 25, 2013; the decision criminalized all activities and membership of the group, and also allowed the government to seize any of the group’s assets.
Many high-ranking party officials in the Brotherhood have been arrested, and former president Mohamed Morsi is on trial for a number of charges including escaping from the Wadi Natroun prison in 2011, and killing protesters.
Following the Egyptian ruling, Saudi Arabia and the UAE also declared the Brotherhood a terrorist group, and called for international powers to support Egypt’s decision.
British prime minister David Cameron ordered Whitehall officials to launch an investigation into the Muslim Brotherhood activity inside the kingdom last April.