HRW: Egypt’s Crackdown Against MB is Shamless Bid to Fix Vote
|Sunday, March 30,2008 15:36|
|By Mariam Ali|
Human Rights Watch (HRW), strongly condemned Egypt"s clampdown against members and activists of the Muslim Brotherhood ahead of the local elections on April 8. Joe Stark, Middle East director at the New York based rights organization described the fierce crackdown as "shameless bid" by the government of President Hosni Mubarak and the ruling National Democratic Party to fix the vote.
"These ongoing mass arrests of opposition activists, on top of the military trial, are a shameless bid to fix the upcoming elections," said HRW"s Middle East director
HRW also condemned the last week"s second postponement of the military court verdict in the year long trial of 40 members of the MB including engineer Khairat el Shater, the MB deputy, who were acquitted four times by civilian courts of all charges brought against them by the government. It said that postponing the court decision was also "part of a bid to fix the outcome [of the April 8 elections]
"President Mubarak apparently believes that the outcome of the elections cannot be left up to voters."
"The government has not charged any of the 800 detained Muslim Brotherhood members with actual crimes," Stork said. "It should release them now and allow fair elections."
"The ruling National Democratic Party heavily dominates the local councils, and President Mubarak seems determined to keep it that way, whatever the cost to his government"s legitimacy," Stork said.
Ikhwanweb welcomes the HRW statements and hope that the Egyptian government responds to the voice of reasoning and do the right thing by ending the military tribunals and release all political prisoners, MBs and non MBs, who only exercised their constitutional and legal rights and voiced their opposition to the authoritarian and undemocratic practices of the ruling government.