Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Egypt freezes medical charity association for alleged Brotherhood link

The state-appointed committee said the decision will not harm the staff of the Medical Islamic Association or affect its medical services

Muslim Brotherhood headquarters
 
An Egyptian protester looks at the damaged Muslim Brotherhood headquarters in the Muqatam district in eastern Cairo, Egypt

A committee tasked with appraising and freezing the funds of the Muslim Brotherhood has decided on Wednesday to freeze all the assets of the Medical Islamic Association charity which was founded in 1977, state news agency MENA reported.

The charity has at least 28 branches nationwide.

Secretary general of the committee Mohamed Aboul-Fotouh said his group dismissed the board of managers and appointed a new one to be headed and directed by former Grand Mufti Ali Gomaa.

Aboul-Fotouh said the decision will not harm the staff or affect the medical service it was offering, but would rather improve it.

A court ruling in 2013 banned the Muslim Brotherhood, the group from which ousted president Mohamed Morsi hails, and ordered the confiscation of the group's assets through a designated committee.

Later in the same year, interim authorities designated the Brotherhood a terrorist organization and froze the assets of its guidance bureau and all affiliated NGOs.

By early 2014, the government had seized the assets of 710 Brotherhood members, including vehicles and agricultural land, as well as privately owned shares in listed companies.

Assets of hundreds of charity businesses, associations and schools were frozen and their administrative teams changed for allegedly funding Brotherhood activities.

Hundreds of Brotherhood members and leaders have been behind bars facing trials on a variety of charges.