2007: a year of security afflictions among the MB

2007: a year of security afflictions among the MB

Year 2007 witnessed a ferocious conflict and variant ways the government followed when dealing with the Muslim Brotherhood group; this year may be the most violent one witnessed by the MB.

Although the MB follows a peaceful methodology in their way for reform and change, the Egyptian government insists on dealing the group as “banned and outlawed working against the law and constitution for adopting religion in its political activities”…one of the reasons for the way the Egyptian regime dealt with the MB is that the government fears the influence of the group within the community after their sweeping success in the parliamentary elections in 2005 that indicated the trust of the Egyptians in the group.

Military Tribunals for MB

Year 2007 began with an unprecedented violent attack against the MB; in December 2006, nearly 200 of the group”s leaders and students were detained, on top of them was Eng. Khairat Ash-Shatter, the second deputy chairman of MB. This event took place after the so- called “a military show organized by the MB students at Al-Azhar University “; an action regarded by the State Security Investigation Body as a discovery of militias inside the university!

Shortly after the arrests, 40 MB leaders were referred to the Military Tribunal including eng. Khairat Ash-Shatter, Muhammad `Ali Beshr, Member of the executive bureau, and Hasan Malik, the famous businessman…this came after confiscating their monies and companies.

This military tribunal occupies the public opinion and has been the remarkable title in the MB news; it is a tribunal that sues the civilians and still going on despite the civil judiciary”s verdicts of acquittals.
This was stressed by Ramsey Clark, the Human Rights activist and the American former Minister of Justice when he says:
“Does anybody think that the Egyptian civil courts are not able to determine that whether these men are guilty or not… Is it not a fact that the civil courts in Egypt have reiteratively determined the innocence of these men and release them? “.

The authority”s insistence on curtailing the MB

It”s worthy mentioning that the Egyptian authorities has charged the MB leaders, who were referred to the Military Tribunals, with many accusations including joining an outlawed group, money laundering, and other charges relating to terrorism. The Prosecutor General confiscated the monies and possessions of 29. In addition to other accusations added afterwards; something against the Military Tribunals Codes.

Adding new charges, one of the MB advocates called the lawyers to withdraw from the suit in an attempt to protest against playing with the law from the Egyptian state security forces part to curb the MB; this was very clear when the Egyptian authorities denied the access of the international watchdogs and human rights activists to the military tribunals sessions.

Regarding the issue of the military tribunals, Dr. `Essam Al-`Erian- in his recent essay published in the end of this year- said: “It”s quite clear that the real charge of those men is being members of the MB; as if the MB is a hidden ghost. The MB has 88 MPs and dozens of thousands members all over the countries”.
One of the most important measurements followed by the state security forces to curb the MB this year was the banning of the annual Ramadan breakfast in many governorates; this was the first time o ban it since 20 years.

One of the most violent attacks against the MB is that the Egyptian president accused the group of being a threat to the national security. The chairman of the MB, Muhammad Mahdi `Akef, replied that the MB has never been and will never be a threat to Egypt , they are always callers for the good seeking the stability and security of the nation. Moreover, the rumor concerning the health of the president was attributed by the authorities to the MB, while the group has denied this charge asserting that the MB are against position of the president not against himself.

The security grasp over the MB in 2007

The Egyptian authorities have tightened its grasp over the MB activities because of the MB”s insistence on competing the authority politically and financially through the polls including the parliamentary, syndicalistic, and students” elections.
The security campaigns against the MB during 2007 have been increased to the extent that the detainees” number reached 3245 members as stated by the report published by Sawasiah Anti-discrimination and Human Rights Center which asserted that its mission is to watch the violations against the members of the peaceful popular movement, disclosing the extent of respecting many freedoms and rights including the freedom of speech and opinion, right of peaceful gatherings, and the right to be justly sued.

It was crystal clear that security performance this year widened the extent of arrests to include many governorates, in addition to being organized and ready with charges for the MB detainees; it included different ages and divisions of the MB cadres; mostly important was the university students.
These arrests increase before any elections; parliamentary, municipal, or even student unions at the Egyptian universities. The arrests are still going on till now; the security campaign extended to the group”s camps in Alexandria , Ras Al-Bar, and Marsa Mattrouh.

Regarding the arrests issue, Joe Stork, the deputy chairman of the Middle East Department at Human Rights Watch, commented saying: “while Egypt is boasting that it was elected a member at the UN Human Rights Council, the authorities were arresting certain people for nothing but practicing their rights of organization and speech”.
They arrested two MB members of parliament; Rajab Abu Zeid and Sabry `Amer, during what the Egyptian government called “an organizational meeting including the MB members”… this event shocked the people for violating the dignity and authority of the parliament.

Sawasiah Center stated that the MB detainees during 2007:
2204 detainees pending investigation, 613 detainees, and 428 jailed… indicating that by the end of the year, the remaining ones are 207 one including 33 referred to the military tribunal, 90 detainees, and 84 jailed.