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Court Overrules Government Travel Ban on Brotherhood Official

January 23, 1996

CAIRO, Egypt (AP) _ In a rare victory for Egypt’s largest Islamic group, a court today overruled a government ban on travel by the 74-year-old spokesman for the Muslim Brotherhood.

Judge Abdel-Aziz Hamada ruled that the Interior Ministry’s claim that Mamoun Hodeibi is a ``danger to security″ is not enough to withdraw his constitutional right to travel.

The government carried out a yearlong campaign against the Brotherhood, which is technically outlawed but has been allowed to operate openly since the early 1970s. Many of the group’s youngest leaders were imprisoned and its headquarters was closed.

Hodeibi was not among those arrested. He ran as a candidate for parliament but lost in a vote marred by charges of fraud.

``The reasons the Interior Ministry used _ that he is a danger to security _ are not enough to stop him from traveling, and the ministry provided no proof to support them,″ the judge ruled.

The government barred him from traveling to Turkey on Jan. 4.