Egyptian non-Islamist political activists whose names were included in a recent government ruling that ordered the seizure of the assets of over a hundred members of the blacklisted Muslim Brotherhood, say they were targeted by a "vindictive" move meant to intimidate them.
A state committee charged with identifying the Brotherhood’s assets has ordered the seizure of funds and property of 112 people accused of belonging to the Islamist group. The list includes the names of at least four non-Islamist activists.
The decision was made public after one of those listed, local Brotherhood leader Ali Khafagy, laid hands on the decision’s official documentation – dated December 17 – which has since gone viral on the internet. The decision was highly criticised, primarily because the non-Islamist activists belonged to groups that were highly critical of the Muslim Brotherhood during their rule.
Amr Ali, a leader of Egypt's April 6 Youth Movement and one of the non-Islamists listed, said he and other fellow activists have yet to be officially notified about the decision that they became aware of "from the media."
April 6 was one of the youth protest movements that helped mobilise street protests that culminated to the downfall of longtime autocrat Mubarak in 2011.
The group also took part in protests that led to overthrow of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in 2013 and has since turned against the country's current regime, accusing it of rolling back freedoms won in the popular revolt.
"It's absurd and vindictive. We don't understand why our names have been included in a case against the Brotherhood," Ali told Ahram Online.
"It's clear that authorities aim to settle scores with known political activists who appear in media and have roles in mobilising opposition," he added.
Along with Ali, the list also includes labour lawyer Haytham Mohamadien and journalist Hesham Fouad of the Revolutionary Socialist movement, a group critical of the Brotherhood and the army’s role in politics.
It also includes leftist engineer Khaled El-Sayed, one of the founding members of the Revolutionary Youth Coalition, a high-profile umbrella group that gathered the leaders of the youth groups that led protests in the 25 January revolution against Mubarak's regime.
An official of the state committee, Mohamed Yassir Aboul Fotouh, said the four activists were proven to be members of an Islamist alliance supporting toppled president Morsi, irrespective of "their announced contrasting political affiliations."
He added that the decision was issued pursuant to a court ruling ordering the seizure of the assets of the National Alliance to Support Legitimacy.
Labour lawyer Mohamadein said the allegations were trumped up, and accused the judiciary of endorsing what he described as a security decision.
"They merely want to intimidate us," he said
A joint statement from accused’s activist groups will most likely be issued at a press conference on Tuesday to condemn the decision, Mohamadein added.