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Muslim brotherhood leader referred to Egypt criminal court

Egypt's Prosecutor General Hesham Barakat [Egypt Independent profile] on Monday referred Muslim Brotherhood [party website; JURIST news archive] leader Mohammed Badie [BBC news archive] along with 50 others to the criminal court. Badie and the other Muslim Brotherhood members are accused of inciting their supporters to resist security forces [AP report] and spreading chaos in the country. The prosecution called the Muslim Brotherhood a "terrorist organization" [Daily News Egypt report] for its role in the protests at Rabbaa Al-Adaweya and Nahda squares [BBC profiles] last year, which were quashed by government forces.

Egypt has dealt with political unrest since the Egyptian Revolution [JURIST backgrounder] began in 2011 and anti-government protesters and supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood continue to fight the military backed government for political control of the country. Last month, three courts in Egypt sentenced 113 Muslim Brotherhood supporters [JURIST report] on charges of rioting, thuggery and possession weapons. That same month, the Muslim Brotherhood filed a complaint [JURIST report] in the International Criminal Court [official website] alleging widespread and systematic crimes against humanity since the July coup [JURIST report] that ousted President Morsi from power. In December, 139 Morsi supporters were sentenced [JURIST report] to two year prison terms on a verity of charges including rioting and sabotage. That same month, Human Rights Watch [advocacy website] urged [JURIST report] the Egyptian government to reconsider its decision to label the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization.

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