They said about military trials

They said about military trials

A year ago, on December 14, 2006, State Security have arrested many Muslim Brotherhood members in a predawn raid without any justified reason. Their trial before a military court began on April 26, 2007 at a base outside Cairo. On May 8, a Cairo administrative court found that President Hosni Mubarak’s order to try the men before a military court was not valid, but on May 14 the Supreme Administrative Court reversed that decision after the government appealed.

Because the Muslim Brotherhood constitutes the largest and most influential opposition political group, it has been the main target of government repression, and its members are arrested on an almost weekly basis solely for attempting to exercise their right to freedom of association and expression.

Today those MB members have passed a year behind the bars where they are referred to unjust military tribunals. Ikhwanweb had this interview with some intellectuals and politicians in which they commented on military tribunals.

“Amin Iskander” of the Nasserist Al-Karama party said,

“On behalf of Al-Karama party, I declare that we are all against referring any civilian to a military tribunal. The real just law is the one expressing the concept of democracy all around the society, not the one spreading feelings of insecurity among citizens.”

Adding, “Such “exceptional” military tribunals only reveal the tyranny of the Egyptian ruling. It drives people to feel insecure under a constitution that equalizes both civilians and military infront of the law!!”

Abdullah Al-Sanawi, editor-in- chief of Al-Araby Al-Nasseri newspapers said,

“Military tribunals can never be related to civilians whatever happened. Such tribunals violate the rights of citizens, and gives the impression that those civilians can be objected to punishment any time.

“Military tribunals should be exclusive for the military in Egypt. The military is a very important part of the Egyptian state that we all respect and appreciate, yet it should not be imposed in civilian cases, or

even in general political cases since such cases are not related to terrorism.

Cases related to creating organizations should be referred to civilian courts.

Amira Abul-Futouh, a writer and a scenarist, said,

“The constitution gives every citizen the right to be tried infront of civilian courts. Such military tribunals are exceptional and I refuse referring any civilian to such courts.” Adding, “ I really wonder how such tribunals are still held in the 21st century where slogans of democracy and human rights are always raised.”

“Abul-Ghaffar Shokr” of Al-Tagammu Party said,

“Referring civilians to military tribunals is a procedure that much contradicts with human rights. Abolishing military tribunals is a genuine democratic demand we insist on, also those tried in the past by such tribunals should be re-tried by civilian courts.”

“Muslim Brotherhood leaders tried in military courts now have not really committed a crime that requires referring them to such tribulals.”

Yusuf Al-Qa’eed, a famous author and scenarist, said,

“Certainly I am against referring any civilian, however it was a MB member, a communist, or a capitalist, to military tribunals since his crime is not related at all to the national security of the country. Although I do not agree with the Muslim Brotherhood group in many beliefs, yet I totally refuse such tribunals against them.”

“Nabeel Abdul-Fattah” of Al-Ahram centre for strategic studies, said,

“As a man of law, I am totally against referring civilians to military tribunals. Such tribunals will remain being an obstacle towards any legal or constitutional reform.”

Adding, “Egypt is now in great need for national correspondence which gives the chance of real fruitful dialogue among different political figures.”

Abdul-Wahab Al-Messiri, the general coordinator of Kifaya movement, said,

“Referring any civilian, whoever it was, to military tribunals is unconstitutional, undemocratic, and even inhumane. The government fears referring the Muslim Brotherhood leaders to civil courts where they should be tried as the government knows such courts would not find enough evidences for detaining those civilians.”

“Kifaya movement demands stopping referring civilians to military tribunals, even if the government accuses them for political cases.”

Fahmi Howeidi, a famous liberal Islamic writer in Egypt, said,

“It’s crystal clear that such tribunals against the Muslim Brotherhood members is targeting their psychological status by humiliating them daily. The government depends on delaying the tribunal sessions continuously without any real reason to reach that target and limit the MB group forever behind the accusation bars.”

He added, “It represents …. Political, and it is quite clear there is no evidence for any real accusations. This has nothing to do with the government’s declaration for justice, political reform, and general freedoms.”

Hamadeen Al-Sabbahi, editor-in-chief of Al-Karama newspaper and chief of the Nasserist Al-Karama party, have previously said,


.To families of the detainees, those full of dignity patient wives, children and mothers in their tragedy which I believe would end up with a great victory.”

Abdul-Haleem Kandil, a distinguished representative of Kifaya and a writer in Al-Karama newspapers, said,

“Referring civilians to military courts in general is refused. Concerning referring the MB members, I find their case quite odd!! A civil court has previously freed all MB members from the fabricated accusations. However, they were re-detained the same day and referred to a military tribunal.”

“As far as I know, referring the MB members is quite a political act that has nothing to do with law. Such acts against MB in general is a farce, and a political repression through violating their civilian and political rights. The government is trying to clear the political stage for Mubarak’s family.”

Lina Al-Ghadban, Al-Jazeera correspondent in Egypt, said,

“I refuse any kind of law if it is not the ordinary civilian law from civilian courts, it reflects the integrity, transparency, and fairness of the law.”

Magdy Ahmed Hussein, chief of the worker’s party, said,

“Every honest person refuses trying civilians in military tribunals. Such tribunals are exclusive for the military figures, referring civilians to them is an unacceptable crime. It reflects a kind of exceptional tribunals free from any real guarantees in order to suppress the opposition figures and imprison them the number of years demanded by the Egyptian ruler.”

Ramsey Clark, US Attorney General, have previously commented on referring the MB members to military tribunals saying,

“What does the military court have to do with such matters?! Does anyone believe that civilian courts in Egypt are unable to determine the rights of such men? Isn’t it the truth that civilian courts have issued releasing the MB members more than once?”

Adding, “These detentions violate the norms of both Egyptian and international law, and the detainees have suffered from the government closure of their businesses, the freezing of assets, and the seizure of their bank accounts by the ruling government of Egypt.”

Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director at Human Rights Watch, previously said,

“Re-arresting these men moments after their acquittal shows a complete contempt for the rule of law and shocking disrespect for the court.”

Adding, “By trying to crush Egypt’s largest opposition movement, the government has shown once again that it cannot tolerate any criticism. All political parties and groupings in Egypt, including the Muslim Brotherhood, should be able to peacefully express their views, even when criticizing the government.”  

Dr. Violette Dagher, chief of the Arab Commission for Human Rights (ACHR) has previously commented on the unfair MB military tribunals saying,

“They want to hide truth but all the world knows very well they hold fake trials”.

“We support them and their demands, even if we can not monitor the sessions, we will proceed our mission through coming to try monitoring these sessions till such farce ends. We expect such military tribunals would end up with unfair judgments on those referred to it.”

Yvonne Ridley, a well-known British journalist who came to attend MB military tribunals, said mocking the current status in Egypt,

“Such tribunals express Mubarak’s freedom of speech inside Egypt. We all respect much the Egyptian society for the good qualities it is known for. Yet, we do not respect the Egyptian regime which have turned out to be a game played by the American administration.”

“We definitely consider that regime as a total failure.”