- DemocracyHuman RightsMB NewsPrisoners of Conscience
- December 6, 2009
- 28 minutes read
Muslim Brotherhood: November a Month of contradiction.
– 109 Brotherhood members were arrested including member of the MB Guidance Bureau.
– MB military tribunal hostage’s appeals rejected and right
activists denounce decision.
The virulent media campaign which was launched in conjunction with case no. 404 of 2009 Supreme State Security, renown in the media as the case of the “international network” has made it a unique model for production in Egyptian film industry by State Security Services.
November witnesses the demise of the case after the Supreme State Security Prosecution acquitted 26 leading Brotherhood leaders who remained detained pending the completion of the ongoing investigation which resulted in the prisoner’s release. Dr. Abdel Moneim Abul Fotouh and Dr. Osama Nasr, of the MB Guidance Bureau, witnessed the final curtain fall of a case which has preoccupied the public opinion for several consecutive months.
In a related issue, the Supreme Court of Military Appeals on November 17, rejected the appeal lodged by the defense against the decision of the Supreme Military Court on April 15, 2008 in which the court had issued harsh sentences against Engineer Khairat Al-Shater, the MB second deputy chairman and 17 other leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood.
The verdict came as a shock, after delaying decision for 3 consecutive sessions. The Muslim Brotherhood’s defense team competed in order to debunk claims with obvious legal and constitutional grounds in an effort to expose Egypt’s poor security practices during the trials ranging from control and inspection measures, followed by arbitrary arrests and detentions, which lead to unfair sentences and judgments.
Soon after the announcing of the verdicts international human rights organizations, including “Alkarama” for Human Rights, Geneva, Switzerland denounced it, emphasizing its intention to inform the United Nations’ Working Group on Arbitrary Detention with the issue’s latest developments.
“The Military Court of Cessation has miserably failed to cancel all sentences issued against Muslim Brotherhood leaders after unfair trials”, the International Secretariat of Amnesty International in London said. It also stressed that the trying of civilians before military courts constitutes a flagrant violation of international standards for fair trials and absolute injustice since it was in fact acceptable for defendants to challenge the decisions and submit appeals.
The security services during November also continued intransigence against 33 Muslim Brotherhood detainees in Suez not only did they transfer 24 to distant prisons which increased hardships on their families but also on November 11, were denied food inside the courthouse although most of the detainees came from distant and remote prisons including Burj Al Arab, Damanhour, Wadi El-Natron, They were also denied getting their meals prepared by the Prison Service. Suez criminal court refused to release them and the Suez Misdemeanor Court’s upheld the release decision which was issued on October 15 for a further 45 days pending investigation.
In another episode of abuse, security forces attacked on November 25, dozens of people which led to verbal altercations which escalated into a huge brawl. Furthermore security forces clashed with those who were waiting in the courtroom to visit with their detained family members in front of the Suez Misdemeanor Court which renewed their detention for 45 days detention pending investigation for a second consecutive time in a row.
The forces banned them from meeting and visiting in addition to refusing the delivery of food and belongings to the detainees. In a statement to Ikhwanweb, defense lawyer for the Brotherhood Bahaa Salama asserted that the tribunal panel, chaired by Chancellor Wael Al-Shimi, refused to allow the defense to complete their pleadings, which raised the ire of lawyers, where they entered the Chamber after they adjourned the session to negotiate with the judge in this regard”.
“Tension escalated when the detainees refused to board transfer vehicles before hearing the order”, he said. The detainees insisted on sit-in inside the courtroom to hear the ruling and their relatives showed solidarity with them. These defiances forced the head of the courtroom to order all family members out of the courtroom.
D. Gamal Heshmat
Recent days, before the Eid al-Adha, have witnessed the release of a handful of leading Muslim Brotherhood leaders in different Egyptian governorates after Interior Minister ordered the release of Dr. Gamal Heshmat, Muslim Brotherhood leader in Al-Behira and former ex-MP due to health reasons. He suffered from grave injuries during his detention. Four Muslim Brotherhood leaders were released in Cairo and Giza including Sayed Al-nezili (Head of Giza Administrative Bureau) Hamdi Ibrahim, Ayman Hodhod and Karem Radwan. The Cairo Criminal Court nullified an appeal to release three other Brotherhood members. Conversely, the group’s lawyers made a request not to comply with Counselor Adel Abdel Salam Gomaa since he was not competent to hear the appeal.
Security Services released 9 of the Brotherhood’s high ranking figures from Upper Egypt following the Court’s decision to release them. The detainees had been arrested along with Dr. Mahmoud Hussein, a member of the MB Guidance Bureau, 3 of them were released due to health conditions.
On November 21, the Cairo Criminal Court decided to release Muhammad Sweidan, head of the MB administrative office in Behira and 11 of the group’s high-ranking leaders in the same governorate who were anticipating the Criminal Court’s hearing to examine the prosecution’s objection on the court’s first acquittal.
On November 9, the Interior Ministry once again challenged the court’s rulings and issued a decision to re-arrest Osama Suleiman, a leading Muslim Brotherhood leader in Beheira and Dr. Naji Al-Qamhawi (Muslim Brotherhood candidate in the 2008 local council elections). The Ministry ordered the re-arrest of two other members of the movement after four were detained while they were organizing protests to defend Al-Aqsa Mosque in October.
Dakahlia and Al-Sharqeya
The release of Dr. Osama Nasr and 11 other group members in November.
In the Egyptian governorate of Dakahlia, the Brotherhood’s lawyers continued the struggle to gain the legal rights of 64 leading MB detainees by the successive campaigns against innocent people during October. Nearly 39 MB leaders were released and 20 others were arrested, while 5 remained in custody in November.
In the governorate of Sharqeya, the Egyptian security forces released 17 Muslim Brotherhood leaders in November, including Dr Al-sayyed Abdul Hamid, former member of the People’s Assembly and Dr. Omar Abdel-Ghani (Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) Professor). They issued an order to re-arrest 8 others.
In the Egyptian governorate of Alexandria, The attorney general in East Alexandria on the first day of Eid al-Adha (Muslim’s celebration), Friday, November 27, decided to imprison 7 Brotherhood members for a further 15 days pending investigation on charges of preparing to organize mass protests after performing the Eid prayer.
The State Security Services in Fayoum on the second day of Eid al-Adha ordered the release of 11 Brotherhood leaders following the prosecution’s acquittal after 3 days of detention in Al-Azab prison. Arish security forces have also released two leading Brotherhood figures, hours after they detained and stormed their privately-owned Computer Center and bookstore.
In the Egyptian governorate of Aswan, the Prosecution renewed the detention of four Brotherhood members in Aswan for a further 15 days pending investigation on November 25 on charges of belonging to the Muslim Brotherhood. Families of the detained people organized protests demanding the immediate release of their relatives. Qena’s Persecution renewed detention of leading Brotherhood figures for a further 15 days.
A conflict for livelihood
Menoufia Real Estate, in an unjustified measure, abstained from paying the salary of its employees Jafar Sobhi who has been detained since 11 September for his participation in the funeral of Faraj al-Naggar, one of the Muslim Brotherhood’s pioneers.
Egyptian Chemical Industries (Kima) Company denied Abdullah Mohammed Makhlouf, leading Muslim Brotherhood’s figure his right to resume working after his release of more than 145 days imprisonment along with Dr. Mahmoud Hussein, a member of the Guidance Bureau and other leading MB leaders.