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Yasser Abdou Tells His Story with the MB Military Tribunal
Yasser Abdou Tells His Story with the MB Military Tribunal
Yasser Mahmoud Abdou is a Muslim Brotherhood leader acquitted from the military tribunal after a one year marathon "farce" trial against 40 Muslim Brotherhood leaders. Yasser Mahmoud Abdou is the Secretary-General of the Syndicate of Commercial Professions in Giza. Our interview with him revealed his patience and political awareness. He exposed much of what was going on in the fourteen months he spent behind bars.
Wednesday, June 18,2008 04:03
IkhwanWeb

Yasser Abdou Tells His Story with the MB Military Tribunal

Yasser Mahmoud Abdou is a Muslim Brotherhood leader acquitted from the military tribunal after a one year marathon "farce" trial against 40 Muslim Brotherhood leaders.
Yasser Mahmoud Abdou is the Secretary-General of the Syndicate of Commercial Professions in Giza. Our interview with him revealed his patience and political awareness. He exposed much of what was going on in the fourteen months he spent behind bars.

Ikhwanweb: First of all, how did you react to the decision of referring you among others to a military tribunal?

Yasser Abdou: There were no incidents at Al-Azhar University to justify referral to the military justice or even civil justice. I actually attribute this referral to the regime"s confusion at the heels of the 2005 parliamentary elections. The most prominent of these facts is that the regime could no longer tolerate the fruitful interaction between the Muslim Brotherhood and all sections of the Egyptian society, including the countryside and Upper Egypt.
Some may attribute this to the efforts and sacrifices of the Muslim Brotherhood and its members and others may attribute it to the corruption and weakness of the regime. However, it can be better understood when both are combined.

Ikhwanweb: Was the referral to the military justice a surprise to you?

Yasser Abdou: No, it was not a surprise. This is because it was preceded by freezing assets of the detained businessmen, a decision which is similar to the referral to the military justice. It is actually absurd for a regime to claim that it adopts free economy to confront social problems and economic crises and this very regime intimidates businessmen. The only justification is that this regime is ready to do anything and sacrifice anything to remain in power.

Ikhwanweb: Tell us about your view towards state security apparatus through your stay in prison and your experience in the military trial.

Yasser Abdou: In the face of it, we were weak detainees in the hands of a strong power. This was clear in the 70-session military trial, especially in winter sessions that were going on till late at night. When we were getting ready to leave the courtroom at night, we found them deployed in rows of police and intelligence personnel with orders issued, cars roaring, lights shed.
However, all this goes to the other extreme when there is a chance for human communication with members of these services to find them like us: part of the fabric of this society. We were happy when we heard many of them appreciating our moderate Islamic project and that attempts to distort this project are meaningless even among those the regime see as its men.
Definitely, earning one"s living is important and autocratic regimes are feared but this fear lacks an important factor: a project that convinces others and gathers people around it.

Ikhwanweb: What are the unforgettable situations that you faced in detention?

Yasser Abdou: The detention days were full of situations that affected me.
The first situation: When we appealed against the prosecution"s provisional detention in front of the Criminal Court. Although we were completely convinced that the charges against us of terrorism, militias, money laundry are groundless, but we didn"t expect that the appeal would yield such a ruling. Thus, it was a surprise for us when the Criminal Court issued a ruling of immediately releasing us without bail. I still remember happiness tears flowing from our eyes when we heard the ruling. All of us felt at that time the meaning and value of independent judiciary.
 
The second situation: We were referred to the military justice although I am fully convinced that this military trial is illegal. We waited for long months expecting a summons for investigation in front of the military prosecution but in vain. However, in a night in the month of April, the prison administration informed us that the first session of the trial will be on the second day. How will this happen although the military prosecution didn"t investigate with us? We wondered. I was really very sad when I heard the representative of the military prosecution announcing in the first session of the trial that after investigations he got fully sure that we have carried out money laundry operations and terrorism and formed militias.

Ikhwanweb: What about the effect of this experience of detention and military trial on your family?

Yasser Abdou: The prison, bars and shackles are part of my family before I was born. But when comparing stage with previous ones, I thank God first of all because it has become impossible to deceive people and the society. It is true that repression is abhorred but people are aware of their friends and their foes. The autocratic regime is currently adopting a mindless force. I thank God again because there is a new generation that grows under this repression. I see this generation in my daughter Asmaa after the pressure of this experience made her understanding of our Islamic project wider and her awareness of the value of freedom deeper and made her more involved with all sections of the ideological, social and intellectual spectrum through her weblog on the cyberspace that crosses all limits.
 
Ikhwanweb: How do you expect the Muslim Brotherhood-regime relation will be in the coming period?

Yasser Abdou: I expect that the current political deadlock may continue. This is because the Muslim Brotherhood has become a huge challenge to the regime  with its vitality and close interaction with society. The regime now has only two options: to increase its efficiency and eradicate corrupt elements and strengthen its contact with people to deserve maintaining power, or to adopt security repression and media distortion and use state bodies to protect the office even if this is at the expense of real stability for this country and at the expense of the future of the coming generations.
 
Ikhwanweb: How do you receive words solidarity from Egyptian intellectuals? any word to them after your release?

Yasser Abdou: We felt grateful for every one across the political spectrum who supported us against this unjust referral to the military justice, including Dr. Abdul Moneim Said, and Dr. Abdul Halim Kandeel. Their speeches filled us with tranquility and peace and maintained our trust in the cultured elite in our country.
I must seize this opportunity to remind them that they can do many things to serve our society, and even serve the continuously growing MB. I admit that they have many things which we need to learn.
We respect them and we need them as effective social and political powers, and the reality on the ground confirms that these limited elitist phenomena will not turn into movements with a social basis unless it becomes open to Islamists and endorse their its programs.


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