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Egypt PM proposes legal dissolution of Muslim Brotherhood

Egyptian Prime Minister Hazem el-Beblawi [BBC profile] on Saturday proposed formally dissolving the non-governmental organization registration of the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) [BBC backgrounder] in an effort to force the group underground. This proposal comes after Friday's protest orchestrated by the MB, which ended a week marked by more than 800 casualties and more than 1000 arrests. Although the government has not yet announced its decision on the prime minister's proposal, government spokesperson Sherif Shawky said that several options were being reviewed [Al Arabiya report], including the classification of the MB as an organized terrorist group. In response to these threats, the MB has officially cancelled [UPI report] all of Sunday's demonstrations.

While Egypt has faced political unrest since the Egyptian Revolution [JURIST backgrounder] began in 2011, the country has been particularly volatile since the military deposed president Mohammed Morsi on July 3 and suspended the constitution. Since then, the UN has called Egypt to halt the violence several times, to no avail. Chairman of the Supreme Constitutional Court Adly Mansour [BBC report] has been acting as interim head of state since Morsi's ouster. Earlier this month an Egyptian judge extended Morsi's detention [JURIST report] by another 15 days in order to investigate claims that he conspired with Palestinian militants during the 2011 uprising. The announcement sparked further protests and demonstrations by pro-Morsi supporters. In July Egyptian authorities announced that Morsi was being the subject of a criminal investigation [JURIST report] for spying, ruining the economy and inciting violence.

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