Two Egyptian Supermarket Chains Shut down over Brotherhood Ties

Police forces have shut down Egypt’s two major supermarket chains Seoudi and Zad Sunday on allegations that their owners are supporting the banned Muslim Brotherhood group.

In September, the North Cairo Criminal Court upheld a decision by the country’s Prosecutor General to freeze assets of prominent Muslim Brotherhood leaders along with several other Islamist politicians.

Later in December, Egypt’s officially declared the Muslim Brotherhood, from which ousted president Mohamed Morsi hails, a terrorist group. The Egyptian government declared the Brotherhood a terrorist group, making it subject to Article 86 of the Egyptian penal code, which defines terrorism and the penalties for engaging in it.

Zad market, which had been launched in 2012, is owned by Brotherhood’s Vice Supreme Guide and businessman Khairat El-Shater, now in jail on a variety of charges. The market has 15 stores in Cairo’s Nasr City district.

Seoudi, however, was established in 1938 and is owned by the businessman Abdel El-Rahman Seoudi, who was arrested in 2007 and later acquitted of charges of belonging to the banned group.

At least nine Seoudi branches have been placed under police surveillance.

*This story has been edited by Amwal Al Ghad English