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Egyptian court dissolves Muslim Brotherhood's political party

By Jason Hanna and Maryam Affane, CNN
updated 10:43 AM EDT, Sat August 9, 2014
In June, a court upheld the death sentence imposed on Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohammed Badie.
In June, a court upheld the death sentence imposed on Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohammed Badie.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • This is the latest in a string of moves by government to force Islamist group underground
  • Government had banned Muslim Brotherhood and arrested hundreds of members
  • Brotherhood-backed ex-President Mohamed Morsy was ousted and arrested last year

(CNN) -- An Egyptian court has dissolved the Muslim Brotherhood's political wing, the state-run Middle East News Agency reported Saturday -- the government's latest move against the Islamist movement whose fortunes have plummeted since former President Mohamed Morsy's ouster last year.

The supreme administrative court's decision dissolves the Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party, which Morsy had once led.

The development is another in a string of moves by the current military-backed government to force the Brotherhood underground. Hundreds of its members have been arrested since last year, and many sentenced to death. Morsy himself is in jail and on trial for allegedly inciting murder and other offenses.

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Egypt's rulers long suppressed the Islamist movement until 2011, when protests led to strongman Hosni Mubarak's ouster. Newly unfettered, Brotherhood members ran for office and Morsy, backed by the Freedom and Justice Party, became Egypt's first democratically elected president in June 2012.

But he was ousted in a coup about a year later amid widespread protests against his rule, with opponents accusing him of pursuing an Islamist agenda and excluding other factions from the government.

Since then, Cairo's military-installed government has banned the Brotherhood, branding it a terrorist group -- an allegation it denies -- and accusing it of being behind a wave of deadly attacks on the police and military.

In June, a court upheld death sentences imposed on Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohammed Badie and 182 of the group's supporters, who were convicted of taking part in a deadly attack on a police station last year. The men can appeal the verdicts to a higher court.

Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, the general who led Morsy's ouster, was elected President in May after leaving the military to run for the office. Brotherhood supporters say the government that replaced Morsy has returned to Mubarak's authoritarian practices.

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