A court in Egypt has added a former lawmaker and a dozen others, all either members or associates of the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood movement, to terrorist lists for five years.
The Fifth Terrorism Judicial District in the capital Cairo announced the news in a statement on Saturday, saying former legislator Ziad al-Eleimy and 12 members of the al-Amal (Hope) cell were added to the “terrorist list” for five years, Al-Ahram news website reported.
“The fugitive leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood… have devised a plan to provide financial support for their hostile actions against the Egyptian state, with the aim of harming national interests, economic security and carrying out aggressive actions against the army and the police to topple the government,” the court statement read.
The Brotherhood leaders have allegedly tasked some members and associates of the movement inside the country, including those who were added to terror lists on Saturday, with securing logistical support, such as weapons and firearms needed to carry out their scheme against the government of President Abdul Fattah el-Sisi, the statement added.
According to the Terrorist Entities Law, passed in 2015, any individual who is described as a “terrorist” in a court order will be added to the “terrorist list.”
The 13 defendants on Saturday were charged with crimes such as alleged cooperation with a group founded in violation of the law, and spreading false news and information about the political and economic conditions in Egypt in an attempt to destabilize public peace and undermine trust in state institutions.
In June last year, Egypt’s Interior Ministry announced the news of detaining a number of defendants after uncovering a purported hostile scheme known as the al-Amal Plan, al-Ahram further reported.
The statement by the ministry at the time alleged that fugitive Brotherhood leaders in coordination with those who claim to represent civil political forces had devised the scheme.
Sisi has long been facing international condemnation for a crackdown on civil society groups since he took power in 2014, a year after a military coup spearheaded by him toppled the country’s first-ever democratically elected President Mohamed Morsi.
Following the ouster of Morsi, the Brotherhood was also outlawed by Sisi as a “terrorist organization.”
The Brotherhood, which fully supported Morsi, protested against the coup, but the pro-Morsi protests were brutally crushed in what became known as the Rabaa massacre in August 2013, in which more than 800 civilians were killed.
Since then, hundreds of the movement’s leaders and members have either received death or prison sentences.