CAIRO (AFP) – An Egyptian court on Monday banned the Muslim Brotherhood from operating and ordered its assets seized, in the latest blow to the Islamist movement of deposed president Mohamed Morsi.
The court also banned "any institution branching out from or belonging to the Brotherhood," the official MENA news agency reported, possibly restricting the movement's political arm the Freedom and Justice Party.
The ruling comes amid a crackdown on the Brotherhood and more than a month after hundreds of Islamist protesters died in a police operation to disperse their Cairo sit-ins, sparking a wave of nationwide violence.
A judicial source told AFP the court ruled that a government committee should be created to manage the Brotherhood's seized assets.
The Cairo court "ruled to ban all activities by the Muslim Brotherhood organisation, the group emanating from it and its non-governmental organisation," MENA reported.
The ruling may be appealed and overturned by a higher court.
Formed in 1928, the Muslim Brotherhood was banned for decades before a popular uprising overthrew its arch foe president Hosni Mubarak in 2011.
It dominated subsequent parliamentary elections and won the presidential election in June 2012 through its candidate Morsi, who himself was overthrown by the military on July 3.
The new military-installed government now accuses the Islamist movement of "terrorism", and police have arrested at least 2,000 members including most of senior Brotherhood leaders.
In the past three years, the movement set up headquarters in a multi-storey building in Cairo and opened offices across the country for its Freedom and Justice Party.
All these buildings are likely to be seized under the court order, which can also if upheld criminalise membership with the movement.