Paris: Activists unite in intensive campaign initiative for human rights.

Paris: Activists unite in intensive campaign initiative for human rights.

The “Arab Commission for Human Rights expressed solidarity with the detained Islamic reformists in the Arab world. During an assembly at Iftar they commended the detainees led by Dr. Abdel Moneim Abul Fotouh, Member of the Executive Bureau of the Muslim Brotherhood who has been detained in the renowned case known in the media as “The international network of the Muslim Brotherhood”.

The Iftar (Ramadan breakfast) ceremony was hosted by the House of associations in one of the Parisienne suburbs, in France and was attended by more than fifty participants from Europe, France and the Arab countries including many of the media’s, personalities interested in reform and human rights, officials of many civic organizations, and human rights activists of Islamic, leftist, liberal and national trends.

Dr. Haitham Manaa

Dr. Haytham Manna, inaugurate the meeting asserted that Islamic reform is not just perfection in Islam, but rather life as a whole stressing the effects of reform in the present life and the Hereafter. Manna continued, stressing that “The deep significance of the authoritarian regimes’ fear is not only from the religious conservatives but from all figures of political reform”.

Manna explained that the “arbitrary detention practiced is a behavior contrary to international human rights. Persons deprived of their liberty are a violation of all international rules and norms. The constitutions and charters stipulate that individuals are entitled to express their own opinion and exercise their political freedoms without hindrance”.

Manna quoted some figures demonstrating the Egyptian regime’s efforts to displace individuals including incidents with the Brotherhood’s leading figure Dr. Issam al-Aryan and again recently with the Member of the Executive Bureau of the Muslim Brotherhood Dr. Abdel Moneim Abul Fotouh. In addition to military tribunals the present regime intimidates their own people warning them not to deal with the banned Muslim Brotherhood movement.

Dr. Manna continued to praise Dr. Abdel Moneim Abul Fotouh where he described him, “Through the combination of the trade union’s struggle of workers, the political struggle and daily civic action that the politicians are belonging Dr Abul Fotouh as never deterred. Despite his trade union supporters who are from all political and cultural trends, we did not feel once that he belonged to a particular political party while working with the union. Transparency was evident in all his measures where he had clear political insight”.

“We show admiration and respect for the prominent and longstanding advocates of political and social reform who are held in Saudi Arabia namely Al-Shamiri, Hashimi and Al-Rashid and their colleagues who have been detained for more than two and a half years without trial simply because they choose to defend the freedom of others,” he reported.

He concluded by calling for the launching of an international campaign to defend the human rights of the six Moroccan political prisoners whose only guilt is the advocating of human rights and freedoms.

Chairperson of the Arab Committee for Human Rights Dr. Violette Daguerre began her speech by expressing solidarity with all the political detainees in the Arab world, adding that most of the accusations indicted against the detainees on political charges were far-fetched.

Dr. Ahmed Abdel-Ati, a leading Brotherhood figure who was sentenced to ten years in the recent MB military tribunals, alleged that “The Brotherhood is the movement which, in one form or another, has been the moderate comprehensive Islamic reform since its foundation as the founder Imam Hassan al-Banna was aware of adding that consequences may involve many sacrifices. Where Albana himself paid his life as a price for reform”.

He indicated that the Brotherhood has in the course of time presented hundreds of martyrs and thousands of detainees in order to liberate the entire homelands against foreign colonialism and the ridding of the prevailing corruption of dictators that strip the nation of its vitality. Abdel-Ati summarized the deteriorating of human rights in Egypt over the last twenty years which resulted in the detaining of more than 30,000 prisoners from the movement indefinitely without charge and over two hundred leading members of the Brotherhood, who were tried before a military tribunal seven times in unjust sentences for terms ranging from 3-10 years for their work with the group. Furthermore, their assets have been seized; they have been banned from travel, demoted from managerial posts and stripped of their livelihood.

Dr. Abdel Moneim Abul Fotouh

In response to the detention of Dr. Abdel Moneim Aboul Fotouh and his companions Abdul Atty answered “How can we respect a regime arresting persons who devoted their life to humanitarian relief?”

He described the recent Brotherhood trials as “A price for supporting Gaza,” hailing the significant role played by the Arab Doctors Union and Human Relief Committee of the Medical Association in helping co-ordinate activists of the NGOs and humanitarian aid to help people in Gaza.

Abdul Ati stressed that the Brotherhood’s initiative for reform intended to make no concessions of the fundamental principles as the Brotherhood’s approach is not to abandon this principle, no matter what pressures it was faced with. He concluded his speech by sending a special tribute to all prisoners of conscience promising that victory is at hand.

Dr. Moncef Marzouki, one of Tunisia’s researchers, author and most prominent human rights leaders in his interposition said “all Arab reformers whether they are Islamists or secularists are required to respond to only one question ” Are we facing the regimes subject to reform?”, questioning “Is it possible to accept these ruling regimes as a solution to reconciliation with the peoples and elites? Are the ruling regimes willing to bind in reform or not?

“If we check the strategies and tactics adopted by all the ruling Arab regimes which lies in the eradication of all opposition political powers particularly the Islamists by violent measures and detentions and allowing them only to enter powerless parliaments and without taking part in politics.

The tyranny forcibly pushes our societies towards the option of armed resistance which must be rejected although the manner in which the regimes seek to apply force upon the civilian communities in order to stay in power under the pretext of combating terrorism. The alternative to peaceful resistance is the overthrowing of authoritarian Arab regimes to adopt a genuine and sustainable reform.

Marzouki was saddened by the inability of the Arab regimes and their unwillingness to adopt political reform” He called for the need to adhere to peaceful methods even to the last minute.

The Algerian journalist and writer Anwar Malik in a short word demonstrated the Algerian model pointing out that many of the manifestations of the nineties continued in other formats.

Consultations have been held among several human rights organizations after the conference in means to follow-up more intensive campaigns to defend the human rights of detainees and the need for interaction and greater cooperation between the various reform trends and the Arab Movement for Human Rights.