Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Egypt Puts 1,500 People on Terror List, Including Football Star | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Mohamed Aboutrika. Getty images

Cairo– Egypt’s Judiciary has added one of the country’s football legends, Mohammed Aboutrika, to a terrorism list for allegedly funding the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood to conduct terrorist activities and harm Egypt’s economy.

Aboutrika, who is currently in Gabon as a commentator for the Africa Cup of Nations tournament, faces five legal sanctions that include asset freeze and travel ban.

In comments to Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper, the athlete’s lawyer, Mohammed Osman, said the Criminal Court’s decision contradicted the law, because his client has not been interrogated or formally notified of any of the charges against him.

The lawyer added that he would appeal the decision within a period of 60 days, but declined to specify when Aboutrika might return to Egypt.

Aboutrika, 38, won an unprecedented fourth African Footballer of the Year award after helping Cairo’s Al-Ahly team to its eighth African Champions League title before retiring in late 2013.

The football player had publicly voiced his support to former President Mohammed Morsi when he ran for the presidential elections in 2012.

However, the athlete has denied on several occasions allegations that he was financing the Muslim Brotherhood.

Egypt’s “terror list” currently includes more than 1,500 names, mainly Morsi, Safwat Hijazi and businessman Safwan Thabet.

The Criminal Court said that the Muslim Brotherhood has received funding from several economic figures and businessmen to conduct violent activities against state institutions.

It added that some of those figures have supported the organization to buy weapons and provide training to its militants in order to perpetrate attacks against the country’s armed forces, with an ultimate goal to topple the current regime.

Also on Wednesday, the Egyptian interior ministry said it had arrested eight alleged leaders of the group for planning to “disrupt order and security”.

In a statement, the interior ministry said the men “aimed at provoking public opinion by exploiting the economic situation the country is going through and coordinating with extremist entities”.