Egypt has officially designated the Muslim Brotherhood as a “terrorist organization” after the declaration was published in the country’s official gazette over the weekend.
On April 14, a Cairo criminal court ruled that the Muslim Brotherhood – along with 215 individuals – should be included on the country’s list of “terrorists” for a three-year period.
“We plan to appeal the decision at a higher court,” Abdel-Moneim Abdel-Maqsoud, the head of the brotherhood’s legal defense team, told Anadolu Agency.
The Egyptian government first designated the brotherhood as terrorist organization in December 2013, six months after Mohamed Morsi – the country’s first democratically elected president and a brotherhood leader – was ousted and imprisoned in a military coup.
The embattled brotherhood rejected the decision at the time, saying it was devoted to strictly peaceful means of protest.
In line with a law issued by President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, a former army chief who succeeded Morsi as president in February last year, brotherhood leader Mohamed Badie and 17 other high-ranking group members were included on the list.
Since Morsi’s ouster in mid-2013, Egyptian authorities have launched a crackdown on his supporters and members of the group, killing hundreds and throwing tens of thousands behind bars.
In a statement posted online, brotherhood spokesman Talaat Fahmi reiterated the group’s “rejection” of the terrorist listing.
“The truth cannot be altered by these vicious [court] decisions,” Fahmi said. “The Muslim Brotherhood is struggling for a cause. We reject the use of violence and strive for a peaceful revolution.”