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NGO federation head released, investigations continue

Hatem Khater released from detention while investigations continue into charges of inciting violence and joining an outlawed group

Ahram Online, Thursday 24 Oct 2013
Khater
Hatem Khater (Photo: Aswat Masryia)
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The leader of Egypt's state-run NGO federation has been released from detention while investigations continue into charges of inciting violence and joining an outlawed group, judicial sources told Ahram Online on Thursday.

Hatem Khater was released by the prosecutor general on Thursday after his lawyers submitted documents claiming he does not belong to the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood and that he was a supporter of the 30 June protests against Mohamed Morsi.

Khater, who is also a co-founder of two prestigious charities – Egypt's Food Bank and the Egyptian Cure Bank – was initially detained on Wednesday for 15 days pending investigations.

The Brotherhood worked underground for decades but rose to power when its political wing the Freedom and Justice Party won the largest number of seats in the first post-revolution parliamentary elections and Mohamed Morsi, a senior member of the group, won the presidential election. The group was banned once again by a court order in September.

The court ruling came amid a crackdown on Islamists following Morsi's ouster. In its decision on 23 September, the court also banned "any institution branching out from or belonging to the Brotherhood."

Khater's lawyers said he endorsed a consensual decision by the NGO federation to ban the Brotherhood's NGO, which had only been registered in March.

Most of the Brotherhood's senior leaders, including its highest authority, Supreme Guide Mohamed Badie, have been arrested on charges of inciting violence. Morsi himself has been held at an unknown location since his ouster on 3 July and is due in court on 4 November on similar charges.

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