- InterviewsPrisoners of Conscience
- December 30, 2009
- 13 minutes read
An inspiring interview with military tribunal detainee Ayman Abdul Ghani
On interviewing engineer Ayman Abdul Ghani, one of the recently released MB military tribunal detainees, who served an unfair three-year sentence it, was inspiring to witness his cheerful temperament. He greeted us warmly once he met us, in short he is an affectionate man with a good sense of humor who was unjustly deprived of the most simple rights; freedom.
His children gathered around him and listening to his father’s story when he was detained as his eldest son Salman interrupted his father wanting to tell the story as if he had been detained and his daughter laughs innocently when her father shed tears on describing the moment of his release when he bid farewell to Engineer Al-Shater and his brothers who were still completing their jail sentence. His son, Moaz, asked to take with his father a photo amid gladness and hung decorations covering the house from top to bottom. According to what Eng. Ayman told us, they hung ornaments following the Supreme Administrative court’s decision to release all military tribunal’s detainee’s hostages.
Ikhwanweb’s interview guest Eng. Ayman Ahmed Abdul Ghani was born in November 1964 in Zagazig, Sharqiya (north of Cairo). He graduated from the Faculty of Engineering, majoring in Civil Engineering from, Zagazig University in 1986. He is a civil engineer and has worked with the Arab Contractors Company from 1989 till now. He was married in 1996 Eng. Khairat Al-Shater’s daughter.
His late father was a member of the Muslim Brotherhood group and he died in 1979; his elder brother Mohamed, an ophthalmologist, is also a member of the Muslim Brotherhood member.
He was detained for the first time in his graduation year in 1986 and was detained again in 1992, 1994, 1998, 2002, 2004, his most recent detention being December 14,
2006. All in all, he spent 5 of his 10 year marriage detained in prison.
Ikhwanweb: Do you perceive the recent military tribunals as a stern warning by Egypt’s regime issued to the Muslim Brotherhood?
Ayman: Firstly, the ruling regime has consistently been occupied by arresting members of the Muslim Brotherhood in an effort to distract them from pursuing their cause. These schemes also aim to focus on deterring the movement’s reform efforts of public concern. Secondly, the success of the Muslim Brotherhood in the parliamentary elections and also Hamas in Palestine has triggered the regime to penalize the Movement, which is supported by the public in an attempt to discredit them.
Ayman Abdul-Ghani: Our only fault is helping the unfortunate Palestinians
ikhwanweb: What is the significance of this warning?
Ayman: The Palestinian cause is something the brotherhood has long been in support of. The existing regime works on confiscating their funds, also their wives and children were prevented from using their money and property, their private businesses has been closed down and their employees displaced. Not only MB high-ranking figures were arrested but anybody who desired to support the Palestine is harassed. The Jordanian and Saudi Arabian government has also sought to tighten the grip on companies that support Palestinians.
ikhwanweb: What harm tyrannical regime if we are allowed to aid the besieged in Palestine?
Ayman: This is not about the Egyptian ruling regime only, but All Arab governments that are subject to the US-Israeli schemes in the Middle East in which the Egyptian regime is a part of. There is security coordination at the very highest level of leadership in this regard as cautioned by the Israeli occupation that it might lead to the growing popularity of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood. This encourages them to seize up the rule as happened with Hamas in Palestine. All governments rushed to exercise restrictions on them.
ikhwanweb: Why were you charged with money laundering?
Ayman: The accusation was fabricated by the government to “tarnish the Brotherhood’s image after the people supported them”.
ikhwanweb: Was the media the spark triggered the regime to fabricate a case?
Ayman: It is naive to say that because the security was going to fabricate a case against us anyway. All the students accused in the martial arts case were acquitted by the Attorney general.
ikhwanweb: Were you surprised that the case was referred to the military court?
Ayman: Of course, it was a surprise to us all.
ikhwanweb: What crossed your mind during the investigation of the case?
Ayman: The country’s deteriorating situation concerned us more than getting an acquittal. We have chosen to, fight in the cause of Allah. My mother, who is 70, visited me in prison and told me not to worry about being set free but to worry about our religion being victorious. My brothers were also arrested and my brother Mohammed was suffering from a previous stroke while my other brother Omar underwent open heart surgery.
ikhwanweb: When will you feel that you accomplished the ultimate goals?
Ayman: When we see that the values and norms of society are the same values and norms that we seek and the desired reform is achieved as well.
ikhwanweb: What things made you happy in prison?
Ayman: The joining of forces and showing of solidarity by the people with us as well as our children’s teachers, even my son’s swimming coach showed so much sympathy for the justice of our cause.
I take this opportunity to thank the community who stood by us with utmost sympathy, and I pay special tribute to the civil society institutions and human rights organizations. There were even banners hanging in Korea and the European capitals
Demanding our immediate release.
ikhwanweb: Do you feel some police officers sympathized with you?
Ayman: Most of the police officers who we dealt with when we were transferred into prison and police stations showed us so much sympathy. They completely opposed the accusations indicted against us.
ikhwanweb: What were your reactions after the court verdicts were issued against you?
My colleagues and I pledged before hearing the sentencing to repeat the Quranic verse) “Who say, when afflicted with calamity: “To Allah we belong, and to Him is our return”: (Cow: 156) and pray to Allah” Pease Allah give us solace in our loss and compensate us.
ikhwanweb: Describe the moment when you were leaving the other detainees.
Ayman: My most difficult moment was when I left Engineer Al-Shater. It was very painful, especially as I spent more time with them than with my children. We have seen more than 20 marriages as well as celebrating our children’s success. We also witnessed our parent’s death including the death of Eng. Al-Shater’s father, the mother of Engineer Medhat al-Haddad, Mohammad Muhanna’s father and Ahmed Ezz’s mother along with the death of two of my uncles.
I also lived through times of happiness
ikhwanweb: Describe how the meeting was between you and Eng. Al-Shater prior to your release.
Ayman: Al-Shater told me that the real happiness will be when the nation is free of all tyranny.
ikhwanweb: What was the release procedure?
Ayman: We were transferred to numerous police stations and headquarters with much paper work to be done.
Ayman: Describe the difference between the night of your arrest and the moment of entering your home as a free man.
Ayman: The night that I was arrested was very difficult for more than one reason; first I was about to perform the Hajj with my wife and the other is that Eng Al-Shater who lives in the same building was also arrested. In fact, it was a crucial moment for me and my children we were in an unenviable position where grandfather, father and uncle were arrested simultaneously.
ikhwanweb: What about the moment when you entered the house?
Ayman: It was very difficult moment. My daughter, Habiba, asked me where is my grandfather, dad? She left and went out to look for him in the building; it was an incomplete joy which will be completed by the release of our brothers and when the desired political reform takes place Allah willing.
ikhwanweb: Do you feel now that the case is over?
Ayman: Of course not as long as the reform process is incomplete.
ikhwanweb: Some political observers view the military case and its arbitrary and mass arrests in the Brotherhood ranks as an attempt to drain the brotherhood’s finances. Do you agree with this proposition?
Ayman: The ruling regime has always wanted to deprive the group of their livelihood to continue and dissuade them from continuing the reform.
ikhwanweb: Would you like to say something to the Brotherhoods’ members?
Ayman: The Muslim Brotherhood detainees were always supplicating to Allah to dispel the nation’s grief because they aspire to attain the nation’s interests, and Allah helped them to bear the injustice and enable them to offer sacrifices. We in turn must make the effort and do our best for political
We emphasize that we live in great bliss. Once we entered the headquarters of State Security to complete the procedures for the release, 3 years passed like 3 moments. I’m very happy that 3 years have been completed in obedience to Allah.