Former Egyptian presidential candidate put on terror list

Former Egyptian presidential candidate and reformist member of the Muslim Brotherhood, Abdel Moneim Aboul Fotouh, speaks during an interview at his office in Cairo. (File photo/AFP)
Updated 21 February 2018

Former Egyptian presidential candidate put on terror list

CAIRO: An Egyptian court put former presidential candidate Abdel Moneim Aboul Fotouh on a terrorism list on Tuesday after his arrest for alleged contacts with the Muslim Brotherhood.
Aboul Fotouh, a former hard-liner who leads the Strong Egypt party, was arrested last week a day after returning from London, where he had given interviews sharply critical of President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi ahead of next month’s presidential election.
The Interior Ministry said at the time that Aboul Fotouh held secret meetings with leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood while in London to implement a plot to stir unrest and instability in the country, accusations he denied.
Aboul Fotouh was among the first of several high-profile Egyptians to call last month for a boycott of the election.
Individuals added to the terrorism list are generally subjected to an asset freeze and a travel ban and are permitted 60 days to appeal the decision.
Aboul Fotouh’s lawyer, Abdelrahman Haridy, told Reuters he had not yet been notified of the court’s decision but that the designation could “easily” be appealed in court.
Aboul Fotouh along with 15 others were added to the list after an investigation by the state security prosecution found they had joined an outlawed organization “aiming to harm the interests of the state,” state news agency MENA reported.
In an interview with Al Jazeera Mubasher, a Qatar-based channel banned in Egypt, Aboul Fotouh last week criticized El-Sisi in unusually pointed terms.
The 67-year-old physician quit the Muslim Brotherhood in 2011 after disagreements over the role of religion in politics and founded the more centrist Strong Egypt party.
He mounted an independent bid for the presidency in 2012 and took nearly 18 percent of the vote in the first round of elections.
Egypt banned the Brotherhood in 2013 after President Mohamed Mursi was ousted by the military following mass protests. The group has since been declared a terrorist organization by the government.


Jordan's increase in coronavirus cases 'worrying', government says

Updated 7 min 23 sec ago

Jordan's increase in coronavirus cases 'worrying', government says

CAIRO: Jordan’s increase in coronavirus cases is “worrying,” however the situation remains under control, the Kingdom’s government said Thursday.
Minister of State for Media affairs Amjad Al-Adaileh called on Jordanians to avoid gatherings of more than 20 people.
He specifically addressed parents of high school students, who are waiting for exam results next Saturday, the state news agency PETRA reported.
Al-Adaileh said those who violate instructions on gatherings in a step to avoid the spread of the virus.
“Do not let your celebrations over school results turn into a setback on the epidemic level,” he said. 
Al-Adaileh said Jordanians are capable in two weeks, if they adhere to social distancing regulations, of restoring control over the spread of the disease and return local infection rates back to low levels. 
Jordan has overall seen a drop in COVID-19 cases, with new infections recorded mainly among travelers arriving from abroad.
However, the Kingdom registered 25 cases of COVID-19 in the past two days, mostly at the Jaber crossing with Syria. This prompted Jordan to close its border with Syria for a week starting Thursday. 
Al-Adaileh said no decision has been made yet on reimposing a curfew. He added that no Jordan official wishes to return to the lockdown, which had an serious impact on the country economically, socially and emotionally.