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Egypt to jail Brotherhood protest participants for up to 5 years
Egypt decided Thursday to jail whoever participates in protests organized by the Muslim Brotherhood for a term of up to five years, official news agency MENA reported, quoting an interior ministry's spokesman.
Hani Abdel-Latif, the spokesman, said whoever proved affiliated with the Brotherhood, the group from which ousted Islamist President Mohamed Morsi hails, or promoting their ideas will be jailed for a term of up to five years.
Moreover, anyone who holds a leading post in the banned group or provides it with finance or information will face hard labor sentences, he said.
The decision, made a day after the cabinet declared the Brotherhood as "a terrorist group," is based on Article 86 of the Penal Code on terrorist groups.
The article says that the punishment may go up to execution, hard labor or life imprisonment "if terrorism is one of the means used to achieve or carry out the purposes of the said society, institution, organization, group or assembly."
In the same context, Cairo Criminal Court decided Thursday to form six courts to try those who have been accused of terror- related crimes and inciting violence recently.
Earlier on Thursday, at least five people were wounded in a bomb attack on a bus outside a school compound in the Nasr city district in the Egyptian capital of Cairo. The Explosion came two days after a car bomb killed 16 at a security department in the Nile Delta city of Mansoura of Daqahliya province.
Presidential adviser Sekina Fouad said the presidency had evidence of the Brotherhood's involvement in the Mansoura blast.
Later on Thursday, dozens of Brotherhood supporters have been arrested in several provinces including Sharqiya, Gharbiya and Minufiya over charges of belonging to a terrorist organization.
The men were arrested for prompting the ideology of the Brotherhood, and inciting people against the army and police.
Ansar Beit al-Maqdis, an al-Qaida-inspired group based in Sinai claimed responsibility for the Mansoura attack, warning soldiers and policemen who work under "the coup" to "abandon their posts to preserve their religion and lives."
It said it carried out Tuesday's attack in response to the " apostate regime's war on Islamic sharia (rules), shedding of the Muslims' blood and violation of our women's and sisters' honor."
[Source: Xinhua, Cairo, 26Dec13]
Crisis in Egypt
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