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Britain denies it delayed report on Brotherhood

Egypt's deposed Islamist president Mohamed Morsi, charged along with 130 others of plotting attacks and escaping from prison in 2011, sits inside the defendant’s cage during his trial at the police academy in Cairo on August 18, 2014. AFP PHOTO / STR

LONDON: The British government denied Monday a media report that it had delayed publication of an investigation into Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood because of disagreements among ministers over its findings.

In April Prime Minister David Cameron asked Britain’s ambassador to Saudi Arabia to conduct an investigation into the Muslim Brotherhood, including allegations of links to extremism and its impact on British national security.

The Financial Times newspaper, citing official sources, said Sunday the report had found that the Brotherhood should not be labeled a terrorist organization and had found little evidence its members were involved in terrorist activities.

However, ministers afraid of a backlash from allies in the Middle East have stalled the publication of the report for several weeks, it added.

“The review into the Muslim Brotherhood hasn’t been delayed. The main findings were completed by July, as per the prime minister’s request, and work is now underway across government to consider the implications of these findings,” a government spokeswoman said.

A spokeswoman for the prime minister said the government would make the findings public “in due course” but that it had never set out a timeframe for doing so.

The Muslim Brotherhood has seen hundreds of its members killed and thousands detained since then-army chief Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi overthrew elected president and Brotherhood member Mohammad Morsi 13 months ago, following weeks of protest.

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on August 19, 2014, on page 11.

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