Egypt Muslim Brotherhood’s Bishr Affirms Conditional Cooperation with Fact-Finding Committee

Egypt Muslim Brotherhood’s Bishr Affirms Conditional Cooperation with Fact-Finding Committee

 In a press statement Thursday, Dr. Mohamed Ali Bishr, leading member of both Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood and the Anti-Coup Pro-Legitimacy National Alliance – and Minister of Local Development in President Morsi’s government, rejected as false media reports alleging he refused to cooperate with the Fact-Finding Committee headed by Dr. Fouad Abdel-Moneim Riad, which seeks to document military coup violations.

Dr. Bishr highlighted that any cooperation with human rights organizations at home stipulates commitment to neutrality, independence and upholding the rule of law and human rights principles, because the experiences of the junta victims’ families and revolutionary groups and stakeholders with junta-friendly human rights organizations are far from positive, as clear in the National Council for Human Rights’ illogical shameful report.

"We, therefore, find those previous experiences a permanent hurdle preventing us from making the same mistake and wasting valuable time."

In a telephone conversation with Dr. Fouad Riad, Tuesday, Dr. Bishr refuted what was published against him in reports attributed to the Committee. He received a clarification on the Committee’s position and assurances of its independence and that it will seek to uphold the rule of law. Dr. Riad requested that junta victims’ families should submit to the Committee relevant documents, reports, testimonies and all other evidence of junta violations.

Shortly afterwards, Dr. Bishr was contacted by Justice Omar Marawan, the Committee’s official spokesman, requesting an appointment to receive all documents and evidence from victims’ families.

"It was agreed that on Monday (September 15) we will submit the documents and other evidence we have. Then, we will decide our next step and stance after the Committee issues its report on the matter. We hope the experience will be positive, this time round, and that the Committee will honor the promises of independence and impartiality it made."

Dr. Bishr pointed that the decision to cooperate with the Committee is only a human rights and legal matter, just like victims’ families’ cooperation with other human rights organizations and bodies, and like legal defense bodies’ cooperation with all judicial authorities and agencies.

"This cooperation does not have a political dimension. The Anti-Coup Pro-Legitimacy National Alliance’s strategy, and the fundamentals and principles of the revolutionary movement, in dealing with the military coup will not change. Moreover, the Committee has repeatedly stressed that it is totally independent.

"Crimes involving military coup generals have harmed all Egyptians, not only the Muslim Brotherhood. Therefore, when we tread this path, of human rights, we move to defend people’s rights violated by the military junta – that is all the Egyptian people, with all segments and orientations – in order to persuade relevant authorities to shoulder their legal, humanitarian and judicial responsibilities."

Cairo: September 11, 2014