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Egypt orders assets of Brotherhood leaders seized

31 December 2013 23:32

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Egypt has ordered the assets of hundreds of Muslim Brotherhood leaders to be seized as part of a tightening crackdown by the army-backed interim government on the group.

Egyptian Justice Ministry spokesman Abdel-Azim el-Ashri said on Tuesday that a ministerial inventory committee has ordered the “movable and immovable properties” of 572 Muslim Brotherhood leaders to be confiscated, the Associated Press reported.

Leaders on the list reportedly include ousted president, Mohamed Morsi, and his family, as well as provincial Brotherhood leaders and members of its General Guidance Bureau, the group’s executive body.

Also on the list are female Muslim Brotherhood members like Azza el-Garf and wife of jailed senior leader, Khairat el-Shater, and his daughter, a security official said.

The Muslim Brotherhood has been facing an escalating clampdown by the army-appointed government, with its leading members put on trial on alleged charges of inciting violence.

In September, a court order banned the group as well as any institution branching out of or receiving financial support from it and ordered all the group’s money, assets, and buildings be confiscated.

On December 24, Cairo officially designated the Muslim Brotherhood a “terrorist” organization, linking the group to recent attacks on security forces without investigating or providing any evidence backing its claim.

In a statement published on its website on Saturday, Human Rights Watch denounced the move as politically motivated and “aimed at expanding the crackdown on peaceful Brotherhood activities and imposing harsh sanctions on its supporters.”

Tensions have been running high in Egypt since July 3, when the army toppled Morsi, the first democratically elected head of state, suspended the constitution and dissolved the parliament. It also appointed the head of the Supreme Constitutional Court, Adly Mahmoud Mansour, as the new interim president.

The government of Mansour launched a bloody crackdown on Morsi supporters and arrested more than 2,000 members of the Brotherhood, which has been leading calls for Morsi’s reinstatement.

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