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Egypt court upholds ruling to ban Muslim Brotherhood

The Cairo Court for Urgent Matters on Wednesday upheld its September ruling [JURIST report] to ban the activities of the Muslim Brotherhood [BBC backgrounder, JURIST news archive] in Egypt and confiscate all assets of the Islamist group. Earlier this week the Egyptian authorities formed a committee [AP report] composed of judicial, security and intelligence officials to collect inventory of the Muslim Brotherhood's assets, including schools, hospitals, charities and businesses. Wednesday's decision allows Egyptian military-backed authorities to begin the seizing of these assets. A lawyer for the Brotherhood, Osama el-Helw, argues the government acted in violation of due process because the review committee was formed at a time when the original ruling was under temporary suspension. El-Helw said the group plans to file another appeal, though legal experts agree that a reversal of the initial decision is unlikely.

Following the Egyptian Revolution [JURIST backgrounder] over two years ago, the nation continues to struggle with political turmoil. In recent weeks, senior leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood have faced a combination of legal delays and legal action meant to weaken the group's influence. On Monday the trial of Mohammed Morsi, the deposed president of Egypt, was adjourned until January [JURIST report]. Last week Egypt security forces arrested Essam el-Erian [JURIST report], a senior Brotherhood leader, who has been on the run since the removal of Morsi in July. Also last week three criminal court judges presiding over a Muslim Brotherhood trial resigned without elaboration [JURIST report].

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