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Wednesday, 20 January 2021

Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood 'never had a legal identity': Judicial body

A week ahead of the verdict in a decades-old lawsuit to legalise the Muslim Brotherhood, judicial body recommends the group remains illegal

Ahram Online, Wednesday 20 Mar 2013
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Egyptian supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood's candidate, Mohammed Morsi, celebrate next to a giant poster of him at his campaign headquarters in Cairo (Photo: AP)
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The State Commissioners Board (SCB) has recommended that the Supreme Administrative Court (SAC) rejects the longstanding appeal by the Muslim Brotherhood to revoke the 1954 decision made by the late-President Nasser's Revolutionary Command Council (RCC) declaring the group illegal and ordering its dismantling.

The recommendation by the SCB, a judicial body responsible for issuing non-binding recommendations on cases to Egyptian courts, pertains to an appeal filed by the former Muslim Brotherhood Supreme Guide Omar El-Telmesani in 1977, challenging the 1954 decision. The board settled the issue Wednesday on the grounds that the decision is immune to judicial challenge, as are all decisions made by the RCC, according to the 1956 constitution.

The board went on to say that appeal requests filed by members of the Brotherhood are considered legally null, since the group never had a legal identity.

Since the 25 January uprising, many political figures have demanded that the Brotherhood, from which Egypt's President Mohamed Morsi hails, legalise its status and register officially, in order for the state to be able to monitor its funding and activities the way it does other groups in Egypt.

The SAC is currently considering a legal case against the Muslim Brotherhood, which was founded in 1928, demanding its dissolution, based on the argument that the organisation has no legal status. The verdict will be delivered on 26 March.

The Muslim Brotherhood was outlawed as part of a series of wide-ranging crackdowns by the Gamal Abdel Nasser regime on the group, following an assassination attempt targeting Abdel Nasser, for which the RCC held the Brotherhood responsible.

The group established the Freedom and Justice Party shortly after the 25 January uprising in 2011, and the party went on to secure a majority in the now-dissolved People's Assembly.

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