Egyptian prime minister proposes ban of Muslim Brotherhood

By REUTERS
August 17, 2013 15:44

Mubarak absent from retrial hearing due to security reasons.

2 minute read.



Egyptian Prime Minister Hazem el-Beblawi

Egyptian Prime Minister Hazem el-Beblawi 370. (photo credit: REUTERS)

Egyptian Prime Minister Hazem el-Beblawi has proposed the legal dissolution of the Muslim Brotherhood and the government is studying the idea, a government spokesman said.

According to the Health Ministry, 173 people died on Friday in violence that erupted when security forces cracked down on Islamists protesting against the army's removal of Muslim Brotherhood President Mohamed Morsi last month.

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Beblawi had made the proposal to the minister of social affairs - the ministry responsible for licensing non-governmental organizations, spokesman Sherif Shawky said. "It is being studied currently," he said.

The Brotherhood was dissolved by Egypt's military rulers in 1954, but registered itself as a non-governmental organization in March in a response to a court case brought by opponents of the group who were contesting its legality.

The Brotherhood, founded in 1928, also has a legally registered political arm, the Freedom and Justice Party, which was set up in 2011 after the uprising that led to the downfall of veteran autocrat Hosni Mubarak.

"Reconciliation is there for those who hands are not sullied with blood," Shawky said.

Mubarak absent from retrial hearing

Mubarak's retrial on charges of conspiracy to kill protesters convened on Saturday in the absence of the deposed autocrat, who was missing for security reasons after political violence swept the country.

Mubarak's two sons, Alaa and Gamal, who are standing trial on corruption charges, were also absent, as was Mubarak's former interior minister, Habib el-Adly. A security official said all were absent for security reasons.

It was the first time Mubarak, 85, had missed a session in the retrial, which got underway in May. The judge adjourned proceedings until Aug. 25.

Violence erupted across Egypt on Friday during protests by Islamist opponents of the army-backed government that took power from Morsi, who became the second head of state to fall in two years when the military removed him on July 3.

Mubarak is being held at Tora Prison on the southern outskirts of Cairo - the same facility where senior members of Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood have been held since they were arrested in a crackdown on the organization.

Mubarak and Adly were convicted and sentenced to life in prison last June for failing to stop killing during the 2011 uprising that swept him from power. But a court ordered the retrial in January after accepting appeals from both the prosecution and the defense.

Each cited different shortcomings with a trial that was criticized for the weak evidence offered by the prosecution.

Morsi is also being detained, but at an undisclosed location. He faces a formal investigation into accusations stemming from his escape from prison during the uprising against Mubarak. The accusations against him include conspiring with the Palestinian group Hamas and murder.


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