• Reuters


An Egyptian court on Monday banned a prodemocracy movement that helped ignite the uprising that toppled autocrat Hosni Mubarak in 2011, judicial sources and the website of the state-run Al-Ahram newspaper said.

The court was ruling on a private lawsuit brought by a lawyer accusing the April 6 movement of “damaging the image of the state” and illegal contact with foreigners, judicial sources said.

April 6 was one of the youth movements that harnessed social media to bring people into the streets for the historic Jan. 25, 2011 protests that led to Mubarak’s downfall at the height of the “Arab Spring” uprisings.

Three leading members of April 6 — Ahmed Maher, Mohamed Adel and Ahmed Douma — were sentenced to three years in prison in December on charges including protesting illegally. Their appeals were rejected in April.

The “Cairo Court for Urgent Matters” that issued Monday’s ruling was the same body that last year banned the Muslim Brotherhood, the Islamist movement that propelled Mohamed Mursi to the presidency in a 2012 election.

The army-backed authorities have cracked down hard on the Islamists and secular-minded opponents since the military deposed Mursi last July after mass protests against his rule.

An Egyptian court intensified that crackdown on Monday by handing down a death sentence on the leader of the Muslim Brotherhood and 682 supporters.

More details were not immediately available on Monday’s ruling on the case against April 6 brought by a lawyer called Ashraf Saeed.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.