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Egyptian authorities to freeze assets of senior Muslim Brotherhood members

Egyptian authorities to freeze assets of senior Muslim Brotherhood members

Authorities on Sunday issued a decision to freeze assets belonging to members of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood over allegations that they supply money to an outlawed movement, police and the Islamic group said.
As part of a stepped up crackdown the Brotherhood, Egyptian prosecutor Abdelmageed Mahmoud ordered the government to freeze the assets of 29 members of the Brotherhood, accusing them of financing a banned movement, police officials said. They spoke on customary condition of anonymity.
Among the 29 members whose assets are set to be frozen is Khayrat el-Shater, the Brotherhood's No. 3 member and a mastermind of the group's strategy, the Brotherhood said.
El-Shater was arrested in mid December along with about 140 other members on allegations they were recruiting students and providing them with combat training, knives and chains.
The recent campaign against the Brotherhood began in December after some 50 Brotherhood students staged a military-style parade at Al-Azhar Islamic University.
Sunday's decision came two days after Egypt's interior minister, Habib el-Adly, accused the Brotherhood of having "illegal activities." President Hosni Mubarak also said in a recent interview that the Brotherhood was a danger to Egypt's security.
Mohammed Habib, the group's deputy leader, described the prosecutor's decision as "extraordinary" and said he believed many businessmen and investors affiliated with the Brotherhood will flee Egypt fearing authorities may take similar measures against them.
"I consider this as an oppressive and a devastating act not only against the group but also against Egypt's economy," Habib said. "We will seek all legal paths to stand against this oppressive decision."
Abdel-Moneim Abdel-Maksoud, a lawyer for the group called the decision an "illegal, political one" and said the Brotherhood would present a query to the court next week asking "to give other reasonable and more justified reasons" for deciding to freeze the assets.
The Brotherhood, which was officially banned in 1954, won 88 of parliament's 454 seats in the parliamentary elections more than a year ago, with its candidates running as independents.
The group renounced violence in the 1970s and in recent months has been increasing its influence in powerful trade unions and challenging Mubarak's administration in parliament.
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Updated : 2021-04-20 13:23 GMT+08:00