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Egypt adds 426 people to controversial terror list

Egyptian riot police arrest a protester in Cairo, Egypt, 5 March 2013 [Tareq al-Gabas/Apaimages]
Egyptian police arrest a child in Cairo, Egypt, 2 June 2017 [Tareq al-Gabas/Apaimages]

A Cairo criminal court has added 426 people currently facing legal proceedings to a terror list in a move that means they will likely be subjected to the terror entities law.

Human Rights Watch has previously criticised the authorities' indiscriminate use of broad counterterrorism laws, including the terror entities law, which have little regard for human rights. Egyptian authorities' designation of citizens as terrorists has "immediate effects [that] include a travel ban, asset freeze, loss of political rights, and passport cancellation," the rights group pointed out in a statement in January, following a decision by an Egyptian court to list some 1,500 citizens as terrorists.

In a decision issued yesterday the court declared that Mohammed Salah Abu Al-Ela and Mohamed Sayed Abdul Aaty were terrorists who belonged to the militant group the Helwan Brigades. The two defendants had previously been named on the terror list before the decision was reconsidered by the court. Yesterday's decision reinstated them to the list.

Read: 485 death penalties issued in Egypt

The court also added 161 defendants to the terror list on the charge of belonging to Ansar Bayt Al-Maqdis (Supporters of Jerusalem) militant group, which pledged allegiance to Daesh in November 2014 and renamed itself Wilayat Sinai. One of the defendants is Ashraf Al-Gharably, thought to be a senior leader. The Egyptian interior ministry announced Al-Gharably's death in late 2015.

Two hundred and ninety-nine more people were designated terrorists by the court on charges of founding Sinai Province and adhering to extremist takfiri ideology that justifies pronouncing the country's ruler a kafir (infidel) and taking part in an insurgency under the pretext that Islamic sharia is not implemented in the country. The defendants were also charged of carrying out terrorist operations against Christians, judges, army and police officers.

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