Cairo: Egyptian police Wednesday raided and shut down the main office of a newspaper issued by the Freedom and Justice Party (FJP), the political wing of the Muslim Brotherhood.
The police raided the office in the Cairo area of Al Manial “without prior notice” and seized equipment and documents from the office before sealing it with red wax, added the FJP paper on its website.
The swoop came two days after a Cairo court banned the Brotherhood and its subsidiaries as well as froze the 85-year-old group’s assets.
The paper has been issued from a secret location since the army deposed president Mohammad Mursi of the Brotherhood on July 3 following massive street protests against his rule.
“Since the coup, we have been working under unprecedented pressure and intimidation from security agencies and thugs…. until we were surprised by the savage campaign on the office without a legal or professional notice,” added the paper.
A security source, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the police had closed the office on an order from prosecution after the paper had incited violence and spread false news in recent issues.
The military-backed government said Tuesday it has postponed enforcing the ban on the Brotherhood and asset freeze pending a final court ruling. The Islamist group has slammed the verdict as politically motivated and vowed to continue anti-military protests.
It is not clear if the ban also applies to the FJP, the Brotherhood’s first political party licensed few months after a popular uprising forced long-standing president Hosni Mubarak in February 2011.
Dozens of the Brotherhood’s leaders, including Mursi, have been detained since his overthrow for allegedly inciting violence and murder of opponents.