Egypt minister demands verification of alleged Muslim Brotherhood 'militias'

MENA and Ahram Online, Saturday 6 Jul 2013

Minister of Insurance and Social Affairs asks ministry's legal affairs department to contact public prosecution regarding investigations into Sunday's torching of Muslim Brotherhood HQ

Insurance and Social Affairs Minister Nagwa Khalil has requested that the ministry's legal affairs department contact Egypt's public prosecution regarding investigations into the torching earlier this week of the Muslim Brotherhood's headquarters in Cairo's Muqattam district.

Eight were killed last Sunday in skirmishes between Brotherhood members and attackers armed with Molotov cocktails who surrounded the building.

The group's headquarters were eventually ransacked and torched by the attackers.

Over the course of the last several months, Muslim Brotherhood offices in numerous Egyptian governorates have come under attack by unknown elements.

Khalil, who was appointed by deposed president Mohamed Morsi last August, told MENA that she was concerned about whether the headquarters had contained weapons and whether there were militias or any militant groups associated with the Muslim Brotherhood group.

She added that the step comes within the context of legal procedures in accordance with Law 84 of 2002, which prohibits non-government organisations and institutions from forming paramilitary groups.

Egypt's largest Islamist movement, the Muslim Brotherhood was officially registered as a non-government organisation by the social security ministry in March 2011 when Khalil was in office.

The Social Affairs Ministry's authority over NGOs found violating the law was restored after Egypt's constitution – approved late last year via popular referendum – was suspended by military decree.

On Wednesday, the military suspended the constitution after removing President Morsi, Egypt's first-ever democratically elected president, amid massive demonstrations demanding snap presidential polls.  

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