Egyptian football star placed on ‘terror’ list

Egyptian former football star Mohamed Aboutrika. (AFP)
Updated 18 January 2017
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Egyptian football star placed on ‘terror’ list

CAIRO: An Egyptian court has added former football star Mohamed Aboutrika to the authorities’ terror list, his lawyer said Tuesday, based on suspicions he financed the banned Muslim Brotherhood. 
In 2015 a government committee froze the assets of the former player for Cairo-based club Al-Ahly and Egypt’s national team, two years after he retired.
The government accuses him of financing the Muslim Brotherhood, which was classified as a terrorist organization at the end of 2013.
According to an anti-terror law imposed in 2015 by President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, anyone on the country’s terror list is subject to a travel ban, with their passport and assets liable to be frozen.
Aboutrika, one of the most successful African footballers of his generation, had publicly endorsed the presidential bid of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Muhammad Mursi in 2012.
Mursi went on to become Egypt’s first democratically elected president, only for the army to oust him one year later and ban the Brotherhood.
Aboutrika’s lawyer Mohamed Osman said that the court’s decision was “contrary to the law” saying the retired player “has not been convicted or formally notified of any of the charges against him.”
“We will appeal this decision,” he said, adding that “if he is added to the list there will be many legal consequences, notably the travel ban.”
The freeze on Aboutrika assets is still in force, despite two court orders that it be lifted, Osman added.
In an interview with state-run Al-Ahram newspaper in May 2015, Aboutrika denied that his company — or any of his partners — had ever funded the Islamist movement.
Since Mursi’s overthrow, a police crackdown against the Brotherhood has left hundreds dead and thousands jailed.
Aboutrika retired in 2013, and the 37-year-old has since avoided expressing his political views publicly.


US Mideast plan will not include land transfer from Egypt’s Sinai: envoy

Updated 20 April 2019
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US Mideast plan will not include land transfer from Egypt’s Sinai: envoy

JERUSALEM: US President Donald Trump’s Middle East peace plan will not involve giving land from Egypt’s Sinai peninsula to the Palestinians, an American envoy said on Friday.
Jason Greenblatt, Trump’s Middle East envoy, apparently sought to deny reports on social media that the long-awaited plan to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict would involve extending Gaza into the northern Sinai along Egypt’s Mediterranean coast.
“Hearing reports our plan includes the concept that we will give a portion of Sinai (which is Egypt’s) to Gaza. False!,” Greenblatt, one of the architects of the proposal, tweeted on Friday.
The American plan is expected to be unveiled once Israel’s newly re-elected Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu forms a government coalition and after the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which ends in June.
Trump’s senior adviser Jared Kushner said on Wednesday the plan would require compromise by all parties, a source familiar with his remarks said.
It is unclear whether the plan will propose outright the creation of a Palestinian state, the Palestinians’ core demand.
The Palestinians have long sought to set up a state in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, territory Israel captured in the 1967 Middle East War, with East Jerusalem as its capital.
The last round of US-brokered peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians broke down in 2014.