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Egypt: Council of Ministers Issues Decree Classifying Muslim Brotherhood as Terrorist Organization

(Apr. 17, 2014) On April 8, 2014, the Council of Ministers of Egypt issued Decree No. 579-2014, implementing a court decision issued on December 24, 2013, classifying the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization. (Council of Ministers Decree No.579-2014 [in Arabic], 14 AL JARIDAH AL RASSMAYAH (Duplicate (d)) (Apr. 9, 2014).) The Muslim Brotherhood organization is a religious and political group founded in 1928 on the belief that Islam is not simply a religion, but a way of life. It promotes insulation from secularism and strictly abiding by the rules of the Quran. (Muslim Brotherhood, ENCYCLOPAEDIA BRITANNICA ONLINE (last visited Apr. 16, 2014); Bryony Jones & Susannah Cullinane, What Is the Muslim Brotherhood?, CNN (July 3, 2013).)

The Decree provides that any individual who promotes orally and in writing the membership or activities of the Muslim Brotherhood organization will be punished according to the penalties established under the Anti-Terrorism Law No. 97 of1992. It also calls for the punishment of any one who finances or joins that organization. (Decree No. 579-2014; Anti-Terrorism Law, Law 97 of 1992, 29 AL JARIDAH AL RASSMAYAH 3 (July 18, 1992.)

In addition, the Decree requires the Egyptian government to notify all the Arab countries that joined the Anti-Terrorism Convention of 1998 of the December 2013 court decision and of any Council of Ministers’ decrees implementing that decision. (Id.; Decision of the President of the Republic No. 279 of1998 on Joining the Arab Convention to Combat Terrorism, 18 AL JARIDAH AL RASSMAYAH 1312 (May 6, 1999).) Finally, the Decree orders law enforcement personnel, including members of police forces and the army, to protect government property from any future attacks that might be carried out by individuals affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood organization. (Decree No. 579-2014.)