Deputy leader of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood Khairat El-Shater (2nd L) sits behind bars with other Muslim Brotherhood members at a court in the outskirts of Cairo December 14, 2014. (Photo: Reuters)
Several leaders of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood were officially labelled as "terrorists" on Sunday, upon order from the prosecutor-general, after a February court ruling that indicted these members with carrying out "terrorist acts".
The move is the first implementation of the Terrorist Entities Law issued on 24 February, which states that any person described as a "terrorist" in a court order will be added to a "terrorist list."
The prosecutor-general's order designated 18 Muslim Brotherhood guidance bureau members as "terrorists", including supreme guide Mohamed Badei, his deputy Khairat El-Shater, former parliament speaker Saad El-Katatni, Essam El-Erian, Mahmoud Ezzat, Osama Yassin and Rashad Bayoumi.
Egyptians included on the terrorist list can be banned from travel, can have their bank accounts frozen if used to fund terrorism, and can be prevented from public employment or political representation.
The new Terrorist Entities Law has expanded on articles in Egypt's penal code that deal with terrorism.
Critics accuse legislators of issuing a very broad definition of "terrorist acts", which include acts preventing state institutions or public authorities from functioning or seeking to attack the personal liberty of citizens, among other crimes.
On 28 February, in the court ruling that led to Sunday's inclusion on a "terrorist list", Brotherhood leaders were sentenced to life in prison for charges involving inciting violence during clashes between Brotherhood supporters and opponents near the group's former headquarters in Cairo in June 2013. The ruling can be appealed.
In December 2013, Egypt's government designated the Muslim Brotherhood as a "terrorist group", but the implications of the designation were less defined than under the recent Terrorist Entities Law.