Egypt’s army-backed government has dissolved the Muslim Brotherhood as a registered non-governmental organization, the state-run Al-Akhbar newspaper reported on Friday, pressing a crackdown on deposed President Mohamed Morsi’s movement.
The decision applies to the NGO registered by the Brotherhood in March in response to a lawsuit that argued the group had no legal status and marks a legal challenge to Morsi’s movement as the police round up its leaders across the country.
“The minister’s decision has in fact been issued but it will be announced at the start of next week in a press conference,” Al-Akhbar quoted Hany Mahana, spokesman for the minister of social solidarity, as saying.
After veteran autocrat Hosni Mubarak was overthrown in 2011, the Brotherhood won parliamentary and presidential elections. The army deposed Morsi on July 3 in response to mass protests against his rule.
The authorities are mounting the harshest crackdown on the Brotherhood in decades, killing hundreds of Morsi’s supporters and arresting many of its leaders on charges of inciting violence. There has so far been no attempt to ban its political wing, the Freedom and Justice Party.
Social Solidarity Minister Ahmed el-Boraie’s decision to dissolve the group as an NGO stemmed from accusations that the Brotherhood had used its headquarters to fire and store weapons and explosives.