Opposition MPs: Regime Seen Militarizing Civil State
Opposition, Brotherhood MPs: Regime Seen Militarizing Civil State
Egyptian parliamentary opposition, topped by the Muslim Brotherhood parliamentary bloc, in addition to independents bloc, Karama Party and MPs of other opposition parties, held a press conference on Saturday morning, April, 21, 2007, to declare their rejection to the proposed amendments of the military justice law, which includes establishing a Military Court of Cassation, a measure that may threaten the independence and unity of rulings of the civil judiciary. The MPs described the law as a step towards militarizing the country and an attempt to involve the Armed Forces in settling political conflicts .
Hussein Mohamed Ibrahim, the undersecretary-general of the MB parliamentary bloc, confirmed that despite the guarantees included in the amendment; they are restricted to members of the military who appear before the military justice.
Hussein demanded, in this regard, giving compensations to those convicted in military courts, specially those sentenced to death, as long as the regime admitted that the old law had no guarantees, and wondered:” what is the status of scores of defendants who were sentenced to death?.”
Sobhi Saleh, a member of the MB parliamentary bloc, pointed out that the law came as part of the amended article 179 that gives the president the right to refer any case to any judicial authority, including the military justice; consequently, the regime is setting the scene for referring more civilians to this military justice and violating the independent competent justice .
Saleh pointed out also that there are some contradictions in the amended military law; “It states at the beginning that it is an independent justice while it states at the end of the paragraph that ” it belongs to the Armed Forces”, how come that it belongs to the armed forces and independent at the same time?!”, wondered Saleh, confirming that this law is doomed to be unconstitutional, warning of involving the Armed Forces.
Dr. Gamal Zahran, the representative of the independent MPs, declared that the independent MPs oppose this law in principle, pointing out that the government wants to establish a post-constitutional amendments reality to intimidate the civil society, and he demanded compensations for victims of the military rulings.
Tagammu” Party”s Mohamed Abdul Aziz Shaban said:: This law seeks militarize the judiciary after militarizing the authority in 1954; he confirmed that the Tagammu” Party”s attitude is in line with the attitude of Muslim Brotherhood”s MPs and independent and opposition MPs in rejecting this law.
Wafd Party”s Mohamed Abdul Alim Dawoud confirmed that the Wafd Party opposes this law, specially its sixth article that conflicts with trying defendants in front of competent judges; ” We think that the regime made the Egyptian people back the opposition against notorious laws and on the other hand intimidates the House majority to approve this law”, said Dawoud, pointing out that this majority came to the House through rigged elections and it has approved the notorious constitutional amendments; they are currently trying to give legitimacy to the military law.
Independent MP, Saad Abboud added several notes indicating that the regime attempts to militarize the civil society:
First: All government institutions are headed by retired military officers
Second: Militarizing the competent justice through introducing a military justice, creating a parallel justice and violating the unity of justice
Third: Involving the Armed Forces in conflicts between the civilian opposition and the regime, putting the national security at the stake.
For his part, MP Saad Al Husseini said that the Egyptian civil society and institutions are witnessing very serious violations due to imposing more military laws and rulings.
Al Husseini in a statement to Ikhwanweb that the Egyptian regime used the citizenship concept as a main reason for introducing the notorious constitutional amendments which have been recently approved; this dictatorial regime is violating citizenship rights for the sake of tightening the grip of the executive authority.
Al Husseini expected that the near future will witness more laws that will add more restrictions on freedoms and will add more oppressive power to the executive authority at the expense of other authorities.