A criminal court in Cairo has put the opposition and the former Islamist presidential candidate Abdel-Moneim Abul Fotouh and 15 others on the terrorist list for alleged links to the banned group of the Muslim Brotherhood, the Egyptian state news agency MENA announced on Tuesday.
Abul-Fotouh was arrested last week, the day after he returned from London, where he had given interviews critical of the government.
The decision to name the terrorism list followed a request from State Security prosecutors after investigations revealed that Abul-Fotouh and the others “led and joined an illegal group to harm the interests of the Egyptian state” said MENA. in relation to the Muslim Brotherhood group.
Under Egypt’s Terrorism Entity Law, individuals placed on the terrorism list are banned from travel, placed on a watch list and subject to asset freezes. Appeals can be lodged against the designation decision.
Egypt has labeled the Brotherhood a terrorist organization.
Abul-Fotouh, a former Brotherhood member, has distanced himself from the group for years and his family said last week that he broke up with the movement in 2009 before being officially fired in 2011.
He was detained for 15 days pending investigations into charges including “posting and broadcasting false news harmful to national interests” and “leading an illegal group” aimed at overthrowing the regime and upholding public order to disturb.
Abul Fotouh was arrested days after an interview with the Qatar-based new outlet Al-Jazeera Mubasher, which banned Egypt, criticizing President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi for engaging the military in politics and the economy had mistreated.
The Home Office claims he held “secret meetings” in London earlier this month with leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood International Organization to carry out a conspiracy intended to spark unrest and instability in the country.
Abul-Fotouh was among several Egyptian politicians who last month called for a boycott of the upcoming presidential election, due to take place in late March.