Egypt: Rights Groups Reject Military Court Rulings Against MB

Egypt: Rights Groups Reject Military Court Rulings Against MB

The representatives of human rights centers and NGOs in Egypt asserted their rejection of all rulings by military court against MB leaders which is expected to take place tomorrow; Tuesday February 26 2008. They confirmed that trying civilians before a military tribunal is against Egyptian constitution and Article 14 of the International Covenant for Political and Civil Rights, and against the legality of the independence of the Judicial Authority in Egypt .

Representatives of human right organizations also reiterated their complete solidarity with the MB defendants, threatenings they will resort to the UN and the International Community in case the court convicts MB leaders, and will disclose the violations and transgression experienced by the Egyptians, especially the MB that suffer from suppression and arrests from the side of the regime for nothing but calling for reform.

The representatives of the human rights centers and NGO said that they have complete reports that will be disclosed and broadcast in the national, local, and international mass media after announcing the verdict to disclose the human rights violations in Egypt .

 The Secretary General of the Egyptian Organization for Human Rights Hafez Abu- Se`dah asserted that the organization has no confidence in independence of the military judges or the fairness of sentence since the judge is appointed by the Minister of Defense; “a member of the executive authority”.

He added that the EU report of Human Rights in Egypt has criticized trying civilians before a military tribunal and considered it a blatant violation of the human rights. He pointed out that the Egyptian Organization for Human Rights has a complete report about the military tribunals including an integrated and comprehensive evaluation of the military tribunals through monitoring and pursuing the tribunals.

Bahiyud-Deen Hasan, manager of Cairo’s center for Human Rights Studies, stressed that trying civilians before military tribunals is a blatant violation of the human rights and the international standards of justice saying “if the regime wants to try these civilians, so let the trial be before a civilian court”.

Hasan expressed his rejection of such tribunals indicating that Cairo “s center for Human Rights Studies rejects all rulings of the military tribunals in advance.

Nejad Al-Bora`i, head the Democracy Development Society for Human Rights in Egypt, stressed on the illegality of the military tribunals even if the sentence is just, and said that we should distinguish between the legality of the court and its justice.

Al-Bora`i stressed that the whole world witnesses the violation of human rights in Egypt and that the military tribunals is a continuation of infringing these rights. He indicated that the human rights organizations will only suffice with issuing statements and reports of pursuing the tribunals, and condemning as well, but there will be no response!!

He questioned “does Egypt really want to implement the human rights? Or is it nothing but hot air?!

Higher Orders

Consultant Morsi Al-Sheikh, head of the Justice, Freedom, and Democracy Center in Egypt , described the military tribunals as a blatant infringement of the independence of the Egyptian Judiciary, and a declaration of the regime’s lack of confidence of this judiciary that enjoys essential guarantees towards the civilians. He indicated that when the state refers civilians for exceptional means that the regime doesn”t trust our civilian judges.

Al-Sheikh stressed that this is a dangerous issue with very bad consequences indicating that the Minister of Justice and the government should have objected the executive authority decisions made by the President as long as he says “we have lofty and independent judges”… but the reality is against his words.

He said that we suffice with referring the trivial case to the lofty judges, but the important cases are referred to the military courts which are not independent for they act according to the higher orders; this is the nature of military system, nothing but obedience and carrying orders out.

Al-Sheikh added that the military officers are not specialized in judiciary and do not have great legal expertise as the natural ones. He criticized the denying of the access of some lawyers, public figures, and representatives of the NGOs to the court sessions; it should be a public trial.

He asserted that the farce of the MB military tribunals is a violation of their rights and their families” as well, because the civilians have the right to be sentenced before a natural judiciary.

He pointed out that the selection of the judges by the executive authority is something skeptical. He added “we are in a wait for the sentence, the we will tell our opinion nor=t a comment, because we are not allowed to comment on the sentences but through the courts of second instance for being a public issue, we will use our capabilities to issue statements and reports condemning the prosecution of the civilians before military or exceptional courts or by organizing demos before the Supreme Court House, the parliament, or the high- profile bodies asserting that the NGOs should play its role by all its means and ways to make the executive authority act correspondingly”.

Innocence of the MB

Muhammad Zera`, manager of the Society of Human Rights for Helping the Prisoners and the Arab Agency for Criminal Reform, said that the military courts are nothing but violation of justice. This is an unjust trial lacking the international standards known to the world and includes a strong offense for the Egyptian judges.

The prosecution of a civilian before an exceptional or military court doesn”t allow the indicted persons or his family the sufficient guarantees in the sentence; especially the military tribunals are usually harsh for being highly orders.

Zera` showed that those who are sentenced before the military courts should be the military ones, civilians who are violated military locations, or the civilians associated with military figures in the case. As a lawyer, he asserted that he refuses the presence before the military judges for he simply did not trust the military tribunals, because it lacks all the guarantees of the just court.

Zera` denoted that the rights groups attend that the sessions as watchdogs despite all restrictions. These are the advantages they have; they have nothing but denouncing and issuing reports indicating scenario of the military tribunals. He hinted that the rights groups in Egypt are small and poor struggle for some legality and raising the right.

Zera` concluded saying “I hope that the military tribunal will acquit all of them”.