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Norway concerned about developments in Egypt

“The situation in Egypt is unstable. The decision by an Egyptian court to ban the Muslim Brotherhood’s activities gives cause for concern. In order to ensure that democracy continues to develop in Egypt – which the Egyptian transitional government themselves are highlighting as important – there must be respect for fundamental democratic principles such as the freedom of expression, freedom of assembly and freedom of association. All groups in Egypt must be included,” said Foreign Minister Espen Barth Eide.

 

An Egyptian court has ruled that the activities of the Muslim Brotherhood are to be banned. The case will be dealt with by a higher court before final judgment is handed down. Since July, hundreds of members of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt have been jailed, including former President Morsi and most of the organisation’s leaders.

“It is important that the transitional government carries out the process leading to new democratic elections in a way that gives all political actors in Egypt the opportunity to participate on equal terms,” Mr Eide said.

The reasons given for the arrests of politicians and supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood, as well as for shutting down a number of news media, are Egypt’s security challenges and efforts to combat terrorism.  

“The Egyptian transitional authorities are facing genuine security challenges, but it is not acceptable to use security measures to suppress legitimate democratic and political activities. All individuals who have been detained without clear evidence that they have violated the law must be released and allowed to take part in political activities,” said Foreign Minister Eide.

 

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