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Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Qatar-based football icon Aboutrika to remain on Egypt ‘terror list’


The prominent former Egyptian player was placed on the list in 2017 over alleged links to the Muslim Brotherhood. 

Egyptian football icon Mohamed Aboutrika will remain on Egypt’s terror list until May 2023 per the latest court ruling, Anadolu Agency reported on Thursday, citing Egypt’s Al Shrouk.

The former-football player and current beIN Sports commentator cannot appeal the latest decision and will remain on the list for the next two years, along with 1,528 others.

Fans of Aboutrika responded to the latest ruling with outrage and took to social media to express their dismay using the trending hashtag #Aboutrika_Is_Not_A_Terrorist on Twitter.

“God did not create a taste sweeter than justice nor a taste mote bitter than injustice. #Aboutrika_Is_Not_A_Terrorist,” one Twitter user said.

The 42-year-old star has lived in exile in Qatar since 2017 when he was added to the “terror list” over alleged links to the Muslim Brotherhood – a common accusation by Cairo for all those that oppose or criticise the government.

Egypt’s government considers the Muslim Brotherhood a “terrorist group”.

Aboutrika, whose assets were frozen in 2015, has denied allegations of funding the group.

Earlier this week, Egypt came under fierce criticism for its treatment of opposition figures, including human rights activists, journalists and other public figures.

A joint declaration from at least 31 UN member states accused Cairo of widespread human rights violations committed with impunity.

The statement highlighted “restrictions on freedom of expression and the right to peaceful assembly, [and] the constrained space for civil society and political opposition.”

Read also: Conspiracies and contracts: Turkish football club takes on beIN sports

Bahey Hassan, director of the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies said “the March 12 declaration ends years of a lack of collective action at the UN Human Rights Council on Egypt, despite the sharply deteriorating human rights situation in the country.

“Countries should continue to make it clear to the Egyptian government that it will no longer have a carte blanche to arbitrarily imprison, torture or violate the right to life, or unlawfully kill people.”

Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi snatched power from the country’s first democratically-elected president, Mohamed Morsi, following a military coup in 2013.

Since then, Sisi has indulged in a wide-ranging and ongoing crackdown aimed at quashing dissent across the country, with rights groups suggesting more than 60,000 political prisoners are being held in Egyptian jails.

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