A judicial panel set up by the military-backed government has supported a legal challenge to the status of the Muslim Brotherhood. It was part of a drive to crush the movement behind the elected President who was deposed in July.
While short of a formal ban on the Brotherhood, which worked underground for decades under Egypt’s previous military-backed rulers, the panel’s advice to a court to remove its NGO status threatens the movement’s future in politics.
An attack on a police station in central Cairo and plans for new mass protests by the Brotherhood today show the interim government is struggling to impose stability.
At least 900 people, most of them Islamist supporters of the ousted President Mohamed Morsi, have been killed since the army takeover on 3 July. The government has accused the Brotherhood of inciting violence and has arrested its leaders.
The Brotherhood, which won elections in 2011, registered itself in March as a non-governmental organisation (NGO) to secure its legal status. The judicial panel backed Brotherhood opponents who argued that the NGO registration was illegal because the Brotherhood-led government had effectively issued a licence to itself.