Ramsey Clark: Egyptian Regime Commits Violations against Muslim Brotherhood
The former US Attorney General, Ramsey Clark, held a press conference on Monday, Oct, 5th, 2007, at noon in the bar association. This press conference included Abdul Moneim Abdul Maqsoud, the coordinator of the defense panel of the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) leaders referred to the military tribunal, in addition to a huge foreign and local media presence.
Clark was prevented on Sunday from attending the twenty sixth session of the military tribunal and he was prevented also from attending the third session, triggering a state of anger among families of the MB detained leaders and human rights activists.
Clark said that he was detained at Cairo Airport for three hours which were like a whole day. “What happened to me is embarrassing to the Egyptian government”, said Clark , adding that he traveled to countries across five continents to monitor political trials there but he wasn”t neither prevented from attending trials nor denied access to the country.
He lamented that the Egyptian security authorities prevented him along with other monitors from supervising the sessions, confirming that such a prevention is a contravention to standards of a fair trial. A fair trial must be public and neutral.
He called on the Egyptian regime abide by human rights conventions in which it is a signatory in 1984. These charters give any citizen the right to have a neutral, independent and fair trial. Clark said that the Egyptian government violates these charters and its brazen injustice against the Muslim Brotherhood is so clear.
Clark cited an example of justice in his country, a controversial case involving a charity helping the Palestinian poor as US authorities closed it for more than seven years accusing it of money laundry. However, the court eventually issued its ruling clearing this charity of the past charges and acquitting it.
Clark said this trial is politically motivated. He declared that it is involving the Muslim Brotherhood to prevent it from maintaining its services to the society. He also raise his eyebrows how up to 14 university professors are among those referred to the military tribunal, saying university professors should be at the university, not in prison.
Acknowledging that he knows that president Mubarak was the one who referred this case to the military trial, Clark confirmed that the trial is an international scandal and said that the course of this trial reflects how the government and institutions in Egypt are run. All the world is currently seeing Egypt as a military dictatorship ruled by juntas.
Asked what he did after returning to the United States from his last visit to Egypt , he said that he held a press conference in the US Press Center opposite to the White House and participated in a number of various activities and seminars to make the case known to the public. He said also that the United States is following up the case with concern. A journalist asked him about the US attitude towards the case, and Clark said that the Muslim Brotherhood is not listed as a terrorist group, but Bush sees that Islamists ascension to power as a danger. However, Clark said he does not have any clear cut information about any direct intervention from Bush regarding detaining the Muslim Brotherhood leaders and referring them to the military justice.
Asked about his predictions regarding the future of the case, Clark said that he is optimistic and he hopes that the military tribunal will eventually issue a ruling that it isn”t competent to see the case and clear the accused especially after the civil justice acquitted them.
It”s worth mentioning that the Egyptian security authorities prevented Clark from the attending the third session and the 26th session, along with other international monitors including: British journalist Yvonne Ridley, Sir Ivan Lawrence, the legal advisor of Queen of England, and the British lawyer Ali Azhar, the chairman of International Justice Organization, and Jordanian Samih Kharis, the delegate of the Amnesty International.