by TSR Staff Reporter
March 21, 2013 (TSR-Agencies) -Egyptian State Commissioners’ Board (SCB) has recommended to the Supreme Administrative Court (SAC) that it should uphold the order to dismantle the Muslim Brotherhood, arguing that “the group does not have a legal basis” on Wednesday.
The State Commissioners Board (SCB) has recommended that the Supreme Administrative Court (SAC) rejects the longstanding appeal by the Muslim Brotherhood to revoke the 1954 decision made by the late-President Nasser’s Revolutionary Command Council (RCC) declaring the group illegal and ordering its dismantling.
The board went on to say that appeal requests filed by members of the Brotherhood are considered legally null, since the group never had a legal identity.
A few hours later, however, the Brotherhood’s lawyer Abdel- Moniem Abdel-Maqsoud said in a statement that the judicial body’s report was meaningless. He argued that the Ministry of Social Solidarity legalised the Brotherhood last month by submitting an application over a month ago under the name of “the Muslim Brotherhood Group”, in accordance with the current law, and that it has a permit numbered 644 for 2013, which should end its 59-year ban.
In the statement posted on the official website of the Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party, the lawyer explained that the Brotherhood had not announced its legalization before, because it considered the issue too insignificant to affect its legitimacy.
Abdel Maqsoud said that this was not announced publicly “because we have always considered ourselves to be a legitimate and legal group since our founding in 1928, so why make a media fuss about it?”
The lawyer questioned the timing of the report, noting that it coincided with calls against the Brotherhood and constant protests and assaults against its headquarters.
“We still reject the current NGO law, but we were forced to use it after noticing more attempts to attack the Brotherhood,” he said. He expressed his surprise that the SCB is issuing a verdict now, after 21 years of deliberating the case. “This coincides with attempts to create chaos at the Brotherhood headquarters,” he claimed, in a reference to the protests scheduled tomorrow in front of the group’s headquarters in Cairo. “The report was publicised to charge the political atmosphere and feed the chaos; nevertheless, we have already been legalised.”
The Brotherhood represents the main supporters of Islamist- oriented President Mohamed Morsi, who headed the group’s Freedom and Justice Party before coming into office.
Since the 25 January uprising, many political figures have demanded that the Brotherhood, from which Egypt’s President Mohamed Morsi hails, legalise its status and register officially, in order for the state to be able to monitor its funding and activities the way it does other groups in Egypt.
The SAC is expected to set a date soon at which it will announce its opinion. Moreover, on March 26th, the Administrative Court is scheduled to deliver a verdict in 4 cases against the Muslim Brotherhood, demanding that the name “Muslim Brotherhood” be banned as well as freezing its activities and bank accounts and closing down its headquarters in Cairo and regional branches. The reason, said the lower court, is that the movement “carries out its activities without permission from the Ministry of Social Affairs and in violation of the NGO law”. The Muslim Brotherhood rejects this.
The Muslim Brotherhood was outlawed as part of a series of wide-ranging crackdowns by the Gamal Abdel Nasser regime on the group, following an assassination attempt targeting Abdel Nasser, for which the RCC held the Brotherhood responsible.
The group established the Freedom and Justice Party shortly after the 25 January uprising in 2011, and the party went on to secure a majority in the now-dissolved People’s Assembly.