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UK lawyers accuse Egypt military of crimes against humanity

An international team of lawyers on Saturday accused [press release] the Egyptian military and the country's interim government of crimes against humanity and a number of human rights abuses since president Mohammed Morsi [BBC backgrounder] was ousted [JURIST report] in July. At a press conference held on Saturday in London, UK based lawyer Tayab Ali [official profile] announced [Al Jazeera report] that evidence compiled by their investigation shows a prima facie case against the interim Egyptian government and military officials for charges of murder, unlawful imprisonment, torture, persecution against an identifiable group and forced disappearance of persons, among other inhumane acts. The international legal team, led by UK human rights law firm ITN Solicitors [official website], was appointed by the Muslim Brotherhood's political wing, the Freedom of Justice Party (FJP) [party website]. Names of those accused have not been released. However Tayab Ali stated that key suspects include top military officers and soldiers.

Following the Egyptian Revolution [JURIST backgrounder] over two years ago, the nation continues to struggle with political turmoil. Earlier this month, the Cairo Court for Urgent Matters upheld its September ruling [JURIST reports] to ban the activities of the Muslim Brotherhood [BBC backgrounder, JURIST news archive] in Egypt and confiscate all assets of the Islamist group. 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. Earlier this month, the trial of Mohammed Morsi, the deposed president of Egypt, was adjourned until January [JURIST report]. In late October, 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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