Egypt's top appeals court removes opposition figure Abul-Fotouh from terrorism list

Ahram Online , Sunday 2 Feb 2020

Abul Fotouh was arrested in February 2018 after he returned from London where he had given interviews critical of the government

Egypt's top appeals court has removed opposition figure and former Islamist presidential candidate Abdel-Moneim Abul Fotouh and seven others from a terrorism list for alleged ties with the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood group.

The Court of Cassation said on Saturday it had accepted appeals by Abul Fotouh, his son and six others against a former criminal court order to place them on the list.

Abul Fotouh was arrested in February 2018 after he returned from London where he had given interviews critical of the government. He was later placed on a terrorism list with others for alleged ties with the Brotherhood.

Egypt has designated the Brotherhood a terrorist organisation in December 2013, months after the ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi, who hailed from the group.

Abul Fotouh remains in custody pending investigations into charges including "publishing false news harming national interests" and "leading an illegal group" that aims to topple the regime and disrupt public order.

Under Egypt's terrorism entities law, individuals placed on the terrorism list are banned from travel, added on a watch list and subjected to an asset freeze. 

Abul Fotouh, who leads the centrist Strong Egypt party, is a former member of the Brotherhood. He defected from the group in 2011 and has for years distanced himself from it. He ran for presidency in 2012.

He was among several Egyptian politicians who called for a boycott of the 2018 presidential elections, which President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi won by a landslide against little -known candidate Moussa Mostafa Moussa.


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