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Security-Related Charges and Designations

Hamas Terrorist Designation Case

Court / Presiding Judge

First Review: Cairo Court for Urgent Matters/Judge Mohamed El-Sayed
Second Review: Cairo Appeals Court for Urgent Matters/Judge Osama Sabry

Procedural History

On February 28, 2015, the court issued its designation. On June 6, 2015, the court canceled its designation upon second review.


The court designated Hamas as a “terrorist organization,” a decision that was later canceled by the court upon second review.

Summary of Reasoning

In explaining the reasons for the terrorist designation, the court stated that Hamas had targeted both civilians and security forces inside the Sinai Peninsula, and that the group aimed to harm the country. The designation was ultimately annulled due to a lack of jurisdiction.

Anecdotal Notes

Lawyer Ashraf Saeed had originally brought the case; it had been appealed by the Egyptian State Lawsuits Authority.

Legal & Judicial Implications

Starting in 2013, the Urgent Matters Court, originally established to be a temporary and immediate court for administrative relief, began to issue verdicts that some legal scholars argued to be in the purview of the criminal or constitutional courts. The designation by the court came at a time when questions abound regarding the politicization of the judiciary.