Egyptian authorities have added retired football star Mohamed Aboutrika, one of the country’s all-time greatest athletes, to an official “terror list”.
Aboutrika, dubbed The Magician, is accused of funding the banned Muslim Brotherhood, which Egypt’s government designated a “terrorist” organisation after the army removed democratically elected President Mohamed Morsi from office in July 2013. Since then, a police crackdown against the Brotherhood, which maintains that it is peaceful, has left hundreds dead and tens of thousands jailed, many under draconian anti-protest laws.
Court officials said on Wednesday that Aboutrika was added to a “terrorism list” that currently includes about 1,500 names, including Morsi, Mohammed Badie, the Muslim Brotherhood’s spiritual guide, and other leaders of the group.Under an anti-terrorism law passed in 2015 and heavily criticised by international human rights groups, any person placed on a “terror list” is subject to a travel ban and faces having their passports and assets frozen. Aboutrika, 38, publicly supported Morsi’s bid to become president in 2012 but has denied that he ever funded the Brotherhood. Mohamed Osman, Aboutrika’s lawyer, said the Criminal Court’s decision was “contrary to the law”, adding that his client has not been convicted or formally notified of any of the charges against him.” “We will appeal this decision,” he said. In 2015, a government committee established to seize and manage Brotherhood properties and funds froze Aboutrika’s assets.