Almost immediately after declaring Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood terrorist organizations. The Interior Ministry opened three telephone lines for citizens to report suspected terrorist activities, including those by the Brotherhood, and Egypt launched a sweep of the Brotherhood.
The move comes before a constitutional referendum is held in Egypt 14-15 January 2014 for Egyptians residing in the country. Egyptians living abroad may vote from 8-12 January. The constitution forbids religion based parties and the Brotherhood opposed the new constitution, declaring a boycott of the vote.
Security sources gave a country-wide total of 38 arrests on terrorism charges yesterday.
From now on, anyone taking part in Brotherhood protests will be jailed for five years, Interior Ministry spokesman Hany Abdel Latif announced.
Jail terms for those accused under the terror law stretch up to life imprisonment. “The sentence could be death for those who lead this organization,” he said.
Terrorism charges will also apply to anyone who finances or promotes the group “verbally and in writing”. Publication of the Brotherhood’s newspaper, was halted in response to the decision.
The Brotherhood’s Islamist allies responded defiantly to the cabinet decision, vowing to continue protests.