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Egypt; International Criminal Court: Petition from Muslim Brotherhood Rejected

(May 12, 2014) In an official statement issued on May 8, 2014, the International Criminal Court (ICC) announced that it does not have jurisdiction over the allegations submitted in an official complaint against the current Egyptian government by lawyers representing the Freedom and Justice Party, which is affiliated with the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood Organization. (Press Release, Office of the Prosecutor, International Criminal Court, The Determination of the Office of the Prosecutor on the Communication Received in Relation to Egypt (May 8, 2014).)

Based on article 12(3) of the Rome Statute, lawyers representing the Muslim Brotherhood had submitted to the registrar of the ICC a complaint invoking the acceptance of the Court’s jurisdiction over alleged crimes committed in the territory of the State of Egypt. (Id.) The crimes involved, according to a statement issued by the Muslim Brotherhood, were the killing of over 2,000 protestors and the detention of 20,000 people by the Egyptian regime since August 2013. Those detained included the democratically elected former President, Mohamed Morsi. (ICC Complaint Will Continue Despite Prosecutor’s Wrong Decision, IKHWANWEB (Muslim Brotherhood English-language website) (May 1, 2014).)

After studying the allegations cited in the plaintiff’s complaint, the Office of the Prosecutor decided that the complaint had not been submitted “by any person with the requisite authority or bearing ‘full powers’ to represent the State of Egypt for the purpose of expressing the consent of that State to the exercise of jurisdiction by the Court. (Press Release, supra.) Therefore, the allegations contained in the complaint were considered to fall outside the jurisdiction of the court, and the court could not consider the alleged crimes. (Id.)