Egypt registers first-half primary surplus of EGP 3.2 billion    ITFC approves $2.6 billion financing for Egypt    Hitachi to connect Gulf of Suez wind farm with Egypt national power grid    Egypt works on charting cooperation strategies with international institutions for 5 years: Al-Mashat    Maha karara joins AAIB as Head of Corporate Communications, Sustainability    Over 2.4 million newborns examined for hearing impairment: Health Ministry    Netflix releases trailer of Arab adaption of 'Perfect Strangers' film    Balqees to headline concert celebrating launch of streaming giant LIVENow in MENA    Sawsan Badr to be honoured at Aswan Women Film Festival    Al-Sisi follows up on 'Great Transfiguration Project' in St. Catherine    Cairo, London stress need to strengthen cooperation to face climate change    Foreigners account for 22.6% of Egypt's T-bills issuances in 1H 2021: CBE    MP Abdel Hady Al-Qasby calls government to facilitate and support NGOs    Egypt's ambassador to Italy passes away    Egypt confirms readiness to help African countries face terrorism and extremism    An estimated 235 million people needed humanitarian assistance and protection in 2021, an increase of 40% compared to 2020: IOM Egypt    Egypt, DRC discuss water cooperation during WYF    Egypt, DR Congo discuss boosting bilateral cooperation during WYF    Cameroonian police probe assault on three Algerian journalists covering AFCON    Pharaohs start AFCON 2021 campaign with fierce clash against Nigeria    Foreign Ministry opens capacity building course for French-speaking African diplomats    BRICS development bank admits Egypt as new member    Nermien Ismail Schools opens a new campus in O'West    Netherlands Embassy, E7kky Magazine celebrate success of 21 Egyptian women    Women make up 45% of Egyptian Atomic Energy Authority staff    Yas Island hosts travel partners at Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix 2021    Olaf Scholz becomes Germany's new leader, ending Merkel 16-year historic era    Egypt's trade with Nile basin countries climbs 26% y-o-y in 9 months    The unvaccinated prohibited from entry to Egypt state institutions starting December 1    Egypt's iron and steel exports jump 197% in 8 months    Ethiopia halts work at its embassy in Egypt for 'economic reasons'    It's a bit frustrating to draw at home: Real Madrid keeper after Villarreal game    Russia says it's in sync with US, China, Pakistan on Taliban    Shoukry reviews with Guterres Egypt's efforts to achieve SDGs, promote human rights    Sudan says countries must cooperate on vaccines    Johnson & Johnson: Second shot boosts antibodies and protection against COVID-19    Egypt to tax bloggers, YouTubers    Egypt's FM asserts importance of stability in Libya, holding elections as scheduled    Brazil calls up 8 EPL players for World Cup qualifying    We mustn't lose touch: Muller after Bayern win in Bundesliga    Egypt records 36 new deaths from Covid-19, highest since mid June    Egypt sells $3 bln US-dollar dominated eurobonds    Sisi calls on House, Senate to commence second legislative sessions on 3, 5 October    Gamal Hanafy's ceramic exhibition at Gezira Arts Centre is a must go    Italian Institute Director Davide Scalmani presents activities of the Cairo Institute for ITALIANA.IT platform    Qa'a play showing at Lycee El Horreya Theatre, Alexandria is a must go    On International Museum Day, Egypt opens two new museums at Cairo Airport    Old Cairo's Al-Fustat will be revamped on Egyptian President's directives    

Thank you for reporting!
This image will be automatically disabled when it gets reported by several people.

Activists continue their battle against military trials as SCAF releases detainees
Published in Almasry Alyoum on 25 - 05 - 2011

Activists' fight against military trials have faced a series of setbacks and breakthroughs over the last two weeks. More than 300 protesters referred to military trials were released with suspended sentences, while the military also issued its first death sentence through military court.
The military refused to provide full lists of its detainees. However, lawyers estimate that the number of civilians tried in military courts since the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces took power on 11 February is as high as 10,000. They are concerned that civilians will face hasty trials in which they could be sentenced to death.
The recent mass releases leave only a few political detainees left in military prisons, but lawyer Ragia Omran says she will continue to fight for detainees sentenced to military trials in other incidents. She estimates that the number of these detainees exceeds 5000. Omran says that no matter what the nature of the charge is, all civilians are entitled to fair trials in civilian courts.
Last Wednesday, 120 protesters arrested in Tahrir Square on 9 March who had received military sentences ranging from one to seven years were released after receiving suspended sentences of six months to a year. Similarly, the last of the 187 protesters arrested in front of the Israeli Embassy on 15 May was released on Sunday with suspended three months to one year sentences.
Human rights lawyers and activists are feeling relief at their success in freeing protesters tried in military courts, but a shadow of skepticism remains. Many distrust the military and doubt the intentions behind its concessions.
“None of us understands the actions of the military. We believe that they were keeping the 9 March detainees in order to get some credit when they release them at a strategic time,” said Mona Seif, an activist who has been advocating against military trials.
Seif suggests that the release of the 9 March detainees could be an attempt by the military to counter activists' calls for major protests on 27 May.
Lawyers, though, say that even with the mass release of some detainees, their fight against military trials is not over yet.
Omran says that while the fight to release the remaining military convicts continues, another fight is starting to appeal the suspended verdicts of those released, which she says can still have damaging effects on the convicts.
“We shouldn't just be satisfied that they are out. The suspended verdicts will go on their records, and if they as much as take part in a protest for the duration of the sentence, they can be locked up again,” said Omran.
Basma Zahran, a lawyer with the Protection of Egypt's Protesters Front, says the organization is still calling for an end to trials of civilians in military courts. The organization is in the process of filing cases against the practice in the administrative court.
Two protesters remain in military prisons with their sentences ratified: Amr al-Beheiry and Mohamed Adel.
Beheiry was arrested during a violent military dispersal of a sit-in at the parliament on 26 February. He was then referred to military court, where he received a sentence of five years on thuggery charges despite the testimonies of many eyewitnesses, including human rights activist Laila Seweif, who said he broke no laws.
Adel, a banker, was arrested on 28 January and received a military sentence of five years. The military released a statement on 28 March granting Adel a retrial but, according to his mother, Nariman Ahmed, the military judiciary has not yet been informed of the decision.
Ahmed filed a request to appeal the verdict and says there is nothing she can do now but wait for a response.
In another move that provoked criticism from human rights organizations, the military court sentenced four people to death last week on charges of abduction and rape.
To make matters worse from a human rights perspective, one of those convicted is a minor, contravening Egyptian law that states that the death penalty or a military trial cannot be applied to anyone under 18.
“The execution sentenced issued for the child A.M.M. [to protect the minor's name] shows to which extent the military judicial system disregards both civilian and military laws, which raises strong doubts regarding the efficiency of the military council in handling civilian trials,” said Adel Ramadan, a legal expert at the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights, in a statement issued by the organization to condemn the ruling.
The military has denied the report, saying that the convict is 22 years old.
At a protest last Wednesday, around 200 protesters announced their objection to military trials of civilians and demanded the release of all detainees. Protesters were especially angry about discrepancies between the treatment of former President Hosni Mubarak and his former members of his regime, who are being tried in civilian court while protesters and common criminals get swift military sentences.
Military trials of civilians have been one of the main grievances of protesters since the SCAF took control, and ending the practice is one of the top demands of activists, who call for a major protest in Tahrir Square on Friday.

Clic here to read the story from its source.