Egypt Watch

Masked robbery: Egypt authorities freeze funds of 285 opposition figures

On Tuesday, the Cairo Court of Urgent Matters decided to seize the funds of 285 opponents accused of joining the Brotherhood, the largest opposition group in the country, and three entities affiliated with it, in response to a request from the Committee for Inventory and Administration of Muslim Brotherhood Funds.

The Egyptian government formed a committee to manage the Brotherhood’s funds, in light of the group’s designation as a terrorist organisation in December 2013, following the coup against its affiliated President Mohammed Morsi. The decision includes preventing the disposal of funds, property, stocks, and bonds on the Egyptian Stock Exchange, and all bank accounts, deposits, and safes registered in their names.

The list includes 285 people, including opposition media figures abroad such as Osama Gaweesh, Moataz Matar, Abdullah al-Sharif, Hisham Abdel Hamid, and Muhammad Nasser. The decision included three companies: “My Way Egypt for Cosmetics, Optim for Transportation and Sports Centres Management, and Novo Care for Trade and Agencies.”

Last March, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi approved amendments to the Terrorist Entities Law, including expanding the confiscation and freezing of assets, funds, and property of those on terrorist lists. During the past years, the late President Mohammed Morsi, the General Guide of the Brotherhood Mohamed Badie, and leaders of the Brotherhood were previously included on terrorist lists, and several decisions were issued to confiscate the funds of members and leaders of the group without aggregate data on the size of the assets and the funds withheld.

More than once, the Brotherhood denied, through its leaders, accusations of its connection with violence and terrorism, and stressed that the money inventory committee set up by the authorities are not competent and that it does not recognise it, and it is not proven that anyone from the Brotherhood has corrupted or plundered anyone’s money.