Rights Activists Will Attend Next Military Tribunal Though Repeatedly Denied Access
Rights Activists Will Attend Next Military Tribunal Though Repeatedly Denied Access
Monday, August 6,2007 00:00
By Abdul Rahman Ayyash

Delegates of human rights organizations held a press conference on Monday morning to detail to journalists what they face during Sunday"s military court against Muslim Brotherhood (MB) leaders to which they were denied access.
Violet Dagher, chairperson of the Paris-based Arabic Committee for Human Right(ACHR), lawyer Samih Khares, a member of the Jordanian Bar association and representative of the Amnesty International, were prevented from attending the fourth session of the military tribunal.
The pres conference included Ahmed Saif Al-Islam Al Banna who welcomed the delegates of the human rights organizations. He confirmed the Bar associations full condemnation to the unjust transfer of civilians to the military tribunal.
"All journalists should make it clear that it is hazardous to make the military interfere in any civilian and domestic issues", said Al Banna, adding that this will have a a negative impact on the Egyptian national security. "As the Egyptian army consists of all sections of the society, this mix-up between the military authority and the civil authority will surely spawn a chaotic effect on the Egyptian social fabric.
This was also highlighted by Violet Dagher who came from France to monitor the military court. She confirmed that she was denied access to the courthouse. She pointed out that she came to Egypt out of its respect to this country and to keep its image in front of the world, and to protect the reputation of the Arabs in general.
Dagher, who represents several human rights organizations, confirmed that she will continuously attend the coming sessions of the military tribunal, though she may be denied access again.
Asked about the way Muslim Brotherhood leaders are tried, Dagher said that this trial will yield bad consequences on all the Egyptian regime, confirming that there is a culture of resistance which will necessarily be increased. " We - human rights activists- shall eventually triumph if we maintained resistance.
Asked by a reporter about the means that human rights organizations will follow to deal with Egypt and whether the European Union may impose sanctions on Egypt or whether Egypt"s membership may be suspended in UN Human Rights Council, Dagher said:" We can"t detail any future measures, and don"t want to reveal all cards.
For his part, Samih Khares, the Amnesty International representative, who was denied access to the trial for the third time in a row, confirmed that his mission is to independently and neutrally monitor the military tribunal of the MB leaders, and to assess how far they are committed to international standards of a fair trial.
Asked about the standards of a fair trial, Khares said that the rights of defendants start rightly when they are arrested. A defendant should be informed of the legal justification for his detention, and that his detention is an exception case, not a rule. Also, the defendant should be informed of the real reason for the detention, and that the defendants shall be moved in humanely to the courtroom taking into consideration his appearance, and that he privately contacts lawyers.
After being denied access to the military tribunal for the second time, Khares demanded, in the name of the Amnesty International, president Mubarak to allow the human rights organizations to attend the military tribunal. He confirmed that he sent letters in this regard to the president, Justice Minister, Interior Minister, the military attorney general, and the national committee for human rights, pointing out that he should monitor the trial.
Khares wondered why he was denied access to the trial two times, asking who issued such an outlandish and unconstitutional decision.
The press conference was also attended by Abdul Moneim Abdul Maqsoud, the head of the defence team for the Muslim Brotherhood detainees transferred to the military tribunal.
It is worth mentioning that Sunday"s session was adjourned to August, 19th, so that the court can hear the prosecution witness, and hear the prosecution and the defense.