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Egypt judge freezes assets of Muslim Brotherhood financiers

[JURIST] An Egyptian judge on Wednesday upheld a prosecutor's decision to freeze the assets of 29 financiers for the Muslim Brotherhood [party website; JURIST news archive]. The Brotherhood is the largest Islamic group in Egypt and, while it is considered to be illegal, the group currently holds 88 seats in the Egyptian Parliament [official website] and is believed to have tens of thousands of members. The financiers are now in prison awaiting a military trial on charges of money laundering and financing a terrorist organization. AP has more.

Egyptian police have arrested at least 300 members of the Brotherhood since December, including 72 in a February raid [JURIST report]. The government accuses the organization of trying to create an Islamic theocracy, but the Brotherhood has claimed that the crackdown is meant to quell opposition to constitutional amendments [JURIST report] proposed by Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak [official profile; JURIST news archive] last year. Egyptian Prime Minister Ahmed Nazif announced in December an 18-month timetable [JURIST report] for lifting the state of emergency that Egypt [JURIST news archive] has existed in the country since 1981.

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