Ikhwanweb :: The Muslim Brotherhood Official English Website

Tue927 2022

Last update02:07 AM GMT

Back to Homepage
Font Size : 12 point 14 point 16 point 18 point
:: News > MB News
Rights group lashes out over Egypt's military tribunals
Rights group lashes out over Egypt's military tribunals
Appeals court fail to revoke Military tribunals sentences.
CAIRO: Amnesty International has condemned the Egyptian government for failing to overturn military court verdicts in an appeal by Muslim Brotherhood members sentenced in what the London-based group called “unfair trials” and demands that the authorities “stop trying civilians in military tribunals
Saturday, November 21,2009 07:11

CAIRO: Amnesty International has condemned the Egyptian government for failing to overturn military court verdicts in an appeal by Muslim Brotherhood members sentenced in what the London-based group called “unfair trials” and demands that the authorities “stop trying civilians in military tribunals.” The statement from Amnesty comes less than a week after leading Brotherhood member Khairat al-Shater and a group of imprisoned Brotherhood leaders attempted to appeal a 2008 military court ruling.

“The decision of the Supreme Court of Military Appeals to confirm the sentences of up to seven years’ imprisonment imposed on 18 Muslim Brotherhood members – all of them civilians – is a stark failure to remedy the injustice done after a grossly unfair trial,” Malcom Smart, Amnesty’s Middle East and North Africa Program Director, said in a press statement issued Friday.

On Tuesday, the appellate court refused to hear the case of five of the 18 – the other 13 had been released in July – meaning al-Shater and his four companions will be forced to serve the remainder of their 7-year sentences.

Al-Shater had been the third ranking Brotherhood official before his incarceration in 2008. Many observers had tipped him to succeed Supreme Guide Mahdy Akef as Brotherhood leader this January. Obviously, this is not on the table at this point.

“Trying civilians before military courts, whose judges are serving members of the military, flouts international standards of fair trial and is inherently unjust, regardless of whether the defendants are allowed a right of appeal or not,” added Smart.

When the verdicts were handed out on April, 2008, the government made it clear that there would be no appeals process for those convicted of “financing a banned organization,” but now it seems Cairo is giving the Brotherhood’s lawyers their time in court.

Top MB barrister Abdel Moneim Abdel Maksoud has said that the group’s participation in the appeal does not “give legitimacy” to the courts and that the leading opposition group remains opposed to their use.

“The ruling regime’s setting up of such courts is a flagrant violation of law and charters of human rights, the law stipulates that any individual has the right to be tried before a conventional judge and not be forwarded to exceptional courts or military courts, in particular,” the lawyer said in statements carried on the Brotherhood’s official English language website, Ikhwanweb.

Shater and leading Brotherhood businessman Hassan Malek were sentenced to 7-years in prison for allegedly joining and financing a banned group. The military court also jailed five other members of the group’s leadership residing abroad. Among them was Youssef Nada, chairman of the al-Taqwa Bank in Switzerland.

A second court upheld the April verdict on July 13, 2008.

Nada, who was under house arrest by Swiss authorities since late 2001 for allegedly financing international terrorism, had his house detention lifted earlier this month after Swiss officials said they could find no reason for keeping the banker in his detention. Nada welcomed the move, saying he would take his new freedom slowly, planning to “visit Islam’s holy places” and return to a sense of normalcy in the near future.

Abdel Maksoud said the Brotherhood maintains that the use of military courts is “illegal” and says it does not support their use against any citizen, whether Brotherhood or not.

“The regime’s unjust methods against the movement, especially after the unprecedented escalation of State Security Service campaigns against Muslim Brotherhood members in Egypt’s governorates during the past few weeks and directing positive messages to the Muslim Brotherhood must end,” he added.

A number of activists, including the Kefaya (Enough) movement have expressed their anger over the government’s decision to employ military courts in what they claim to be “civil cases against citizens with no military connection.”

Amnesty and other international rights groups were prevented from attending the trial sessions by the government, the statement reported.

The Supreme Court of Military Appeals ruling came a month after the UN’s leading expert on human rights and counter terrorism, Martin Scheinin, issued a damning report calling on the Egyptian authorities to stop trying civilians before military courts.

Another UN group, the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, ruled in 2008 that the detention of 26 members of the Muslim Brotherhood arrested between December 2006 and January 2007 was arbitrary and urged the authorities to release them. Fourteen of the 26 were among those whose appeals were rejected on Tuesday.

Amnesty has continually demanded the Egyptian government end the use of military courts in trying civilians. “The procedures of military trials violate the right to a fair and public hearing before a competent, independent and impartial tribunal established by law,” the rights group said.

“All of those who remain imprisoned as a result of this unfair trial and appeal process should be immediately retried by a civilian court that conforms to international fair trial standards or else released,” said Malcolm Smart.


tags: Military Tribunals / Amnesty International / Muslim Brotherhood Members / Unfair Trials / Khairat al-Shater / Mahdy Akef
Posted in MB News , Military Tribunal  
Related Articles
Benghazi is off-limits for Amnesty International
Ayman Nour’s speech to US Congress: I reject trial of Khairat Al-Shater’s group before martial court
Egypt: Amnesty International, Violations in the "war on terror"
Military Tribunals and You!
Khairat Al-Shater Skips MB Trial Session for Health Reasons
Military Tribunals & International HR Watchdogs
Military Tribunals & Status of Human Rights In Egypt
Thousands Khairat Al-Shater’s Ramadan Greeting Cards Confiscated
Amnesty International Report 2007 : Egypt
Violette Daguerre: MB Military Tribunals are False& Unreal Political Tribunals
Military Tribunals for MB activists!!
Rights Organizations Condemn Military Tribunals For MB Members
Amnesty International Report 2007
MB Detainees’ Families Send Petition To Amnesty International