Monday, August 06, 2007

Message to President Mubarak: MB Trials Must be Open

Amnesty International announced today that it has written to Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, urging him to ensure that independent observers are permitted access to the trial of 40 members of the Muslim Brotherhood, scheduled to resume before the Supreme Military Court in Cairo on Sunday.

The organization made this call following two earlier trial hearings when legal observers sent by Amnesty International and other human rights organizations were barred from entering the court.

"We look to President Mubarak, as Egypt's highest authority, to open the doors to this important trial," said Amnesty International's Secretary General Irene Khan. "He should clear the way for it to receive the scrutiny it deserves."

Amnesty International's trial observer, Jordanian lawyer Samieh Khreis, was previously among a number of international and Egyptian legal observers who were turned away by security officials when they attempted to enter the Supreme Military Court during its last session on 15 July. Observers were also turned away when they attempted to attend a previous session of the trial on 3 June 2007.

Egyptian authorities have given no explanation to date for their refusal to allow independent observers to attend the trial, adding to concerns about its fairness.

The 40 defendants facing trial on 5 August 2007 include leading members of the Muslim Brotherhood, who face charges of terrorism and money-laundering that could incur the death penalty.

All are being tried before a military court on the express instructions of President Mubarak -- using powers under a 1966 law -- although none hold any position within Egypt's armed forces.

Seventeen of the 40 were previously tried but acquitted on the same charges by a Cairo criminal court.

"We unreservedly oppose the Egyptian government's use of military courts to try civilians," said Irene Khan.

"In Egypt's military courts judges are serving members of the armed forces and military courts cannot be seen as independent and impartial tribunals for civilians. Their use for highly-charged political cases -- such as the current trial of leading members of the Muslim Brotherhood -- suggests that the defendants may be denied a fair trial."

"The fact that the government has so far denied international observers access to the court only exacerbates our grave concerns." Ms Khan said

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At 1:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Day of Revolt...Egyptian started repelling on Jan25th 2011 and they insist on going on regardless of the consistent crack-down of police forces and the extreme violation of their human rights. many were killed, brutally tortured, arrested...the massacre in Suez, Salom, Ismailiya, and many other cities continue...
the world is watching without interest as the government cuts the water, electricity, blocks the internet and communication networks, banns any mention of the rallies in the media, and unleashes the police riot forces on thousands of civilians..


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