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Rights Report: Egypt Detained 3245 MBs, Referred 107 to SSSP in 2007
Rights Report: Egypt Detained 3245 MBs, Referred 107 to SSSP in 2007
A human rights report confirmed that some 3245 Muslim Brotherhood (MB) members have been detained in Egypt in 2007, including 2204 placed in a provisional detention, 613 detainees and 428 under custody. The report "Absent Justice" issued by Sawasya Center for Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination, a copy of which was obtained by Ikhwanweb, details detentions and cases against the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt in 2007.
Saturday, December 22,2007 03:53
by Amr Magdi Al-jazeera.net

 
A human rights report confirmed that some 3245 Muslim Brotherhood (MB) members have been detained in Egypt in 2007, including 2204 placed in a provisional detention, 613 detainees and 428 under custody.
 
The report "Absent Justice" issued by Sawasya Center for Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination, a copy of which was obtained by Ikhwanweb, details detentions and cases against the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt in 2007.
 
The 33-pages report shows that 207 MB members are still in prisons as the year is coming to an end, including 33 MB leaders facing a military tribunal, 90 detainees and 84 under custody.
 
It also showed that both governorates of Giza and Sharqiya account for the biggest number of detainees (about 16%) and 103 cases were referred to the Supreme State Security Prosecution (SSSP).
 
For his part, the Muslim Brotherhood-leaning manager of Sawasya centre said that the report is issued to mark the first anniversary of the athletic show performed by Al-Azhar students, (triggering the so called Al-Azhar students case.).
 
Lawyer Abdul Moneim Abdul Maqsoud told Ikhwanweb that that the report "doesn"t aim to defend the Muslim Brotherhood. It aims to show that there are many indications that the rights and freedoms of a specific movement and its members are violated. This is the first report to be allocated for the Muslim Brotherhood."
 
The report allocated a full chapter for reviewing the military tribunal against 40 MB leaders. It reported the so called violations during the investigations.
Abdul Maqsood explained these violations, saying:" There were premeditated intentions to arrest leaders in order to weaken and undermine the structure of the group. This can be seen from the human rights perspective as the repressing the biggest opposition movement in Egypt , instead of bolstering the political participation".
 
Conflicting reports, ambiguity
 
On the other hand, there are conflicting reports regarding dropping the charges of terrorism and money laundry against MB leaders in the military tribunal. Ikhwanonline.com the group"s Arabic official website said the situation is still shrouded in mystery.
 
Abdul Maqsood- the leader of the MB defence panel- attributed this conflict to the fact that they failed in getting an official copy of the court ruling last Monday morning, while some lawyers and families of the detainees only reported what they understood from the ruling inside the courtroom on Sunday.
 
However, the defence team member Nasser Al Hafi * told Ikhwanweb that:"The terrorism charge ahs been already dropped and the money laundry charge will likely be dropped as well", stressing that they wrote the court ruling and compared it with the session minutes.
 
He saw that these turns move towards easing sentences from execution or long prison sentences, the punishment for terrorism and running an organization, to 1-5 prison sentences, the punishment for joining to a banned organization.
 
 
A political negotiation
 
Commenting on those developments, Diaa Rashwan, an expert in Islamic groups affairs at Al-Ahram Center for strategic and political studies, said:" this reflect a kind of political negotiation between the regime and the group, specially as other important files are opened, like lifting subsidies and municipal elections".
 
 
He told Ikhwanweb that "The regime may be seeking a calming down through easing the rulings which are expected to be range between one to five years like the other past six military tribunals against MB leaders.

 
* I is still uncertain whether both charges of terrorism and money laundry have been dropped against MB leaders. Nasser Al Haffi, a member of the defence team confirms that they were dropped.
 
It is worth noting that there are two terrorism charges: The first charge is terrorism in money laundry which is directed against 29 defendants (7 main defendants and 21 accomplices). Al Haffi says that "terrorism has been dropped from the charge of money laundry. This means that the money laundry is according to legal texts. This is because the law points to moneys "gained through terrorism".
 
The second terrorism charge " running an outlawed organization whose method is terrorism", was ameded- says Al Haffi- to " Joining an outlawed organization", dropping " whose method is terrorism ".
 
Thus Al Haffi confirms that both charges of terrorism and money laundry have been dropped, while the defence team chief, Abdul Moneim Abdul Maqsoud, sees that it is still too early to say so.


Posted in Military Tribunal , Prisoners of Conscience , Human Rights  
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