EOHR appeals to the President to stop the sentence issued against the defendants of AL Mahala events
December 15th, 2008 by Editor
The Emergency Supreme State Security Court issued its decision in case No. 5498 -2008 known as Al Mahala events by releasing 27 defendants and charging 22 others as follows :
– The first defendant was sentenced to 5 years imprisonment .
– 3 years imprisonment to the following defendants :
( The second , sixth , tenth , eleventh , thirteenth, fourteenth , seventeenth , twenty-seventh , twenty ninth , and from the forty second to the forty ninth )
– Releasing all defendants from the crime of illegal assembly , while 22 defendants were accused of illegal possession of weapons , attacking policemen and theft ).
The facts of that case return back to the events of 6th and 7th of April as Al Mahala city – Al Gharbia governorate had witnessed protest actions and demonstrations through out the city , besides the sabotage events in a wide range in schools , commercial shops and main squares followed by hundreds of security body troops who allegedly used live ammunition against crowds , attack and arrest a large number of civilian residents who were submitted to Emergency Supreme State Security Court and were accused of the following charges :
* Defendants from the first to forty one : joining others in illegal assembly composed of more than 5 individuals the matter that harm the public security , and so the purpose is to commit the offenses of theft and looting, using the force , violence , weapons and other tools that cause death .The defendants from the first to the tenth were accused of managing the illegal assembly , however , they were aware of their target from that assemblage as they committed the following crimes :
First : they vandalized deliberately the public building ( Taha Hussein , Abdul Hay Khalil schools , Al Shoan post office , first aid and traffic stations and public
services office in Al Shoan squarer the matter which impede the work of these agencies besides ,the financial damages which reached 9526504.5 L.E as mentioned in the investigations .
Second : they fired deliberately Taha Hussein and Abdul Hay schools , Al Aloa traffic station as they threw a Molotov bottles and so fire extended to burn their contents.
Third : they exposed the ground transportation to danger as they burn tires and threw them in the roads and on the railways lines which led to the injury of Ahmed Hussein Ismael , train driver , as the attached medical report stated that his recovery will take up more than 20 days .
Fourth : they vandalize phone booths (Minatel , Al Nil and Egypt Telecom ) which are established to serve the public utilities .
Fifth : they destroyed and vandalized the contents of Abdul Hay Khalil and Taha Hussein schools , first aid station and some phones booths , Silver shop for shoes , Ramsis studio for photography , Al Baghl restaurant , Banzayon branch , Al Zoghaby shop , Romoosh shop , Raslan for electric tools shop , Al Shafei pharmacy , Fatma Ibrahim shop , Ahmed Mohamed studio for photography , Hassan Abdul Mon’m for rent wedding clothes , Yosry confectioner , Fina for photography , Atef Elias for jewelry .
Sixth : they destroyed deliberately :
-Equipment , tools, private works , and part of lighting pillars which were set up to serve the public utilities in streets and main squares in Al Mahala city the matter which led to the loses (with amount of 60857.25 L.E as mentioned in the investigations .
– 50 cars belong to police forces , governorate and emergency room and the losses were 287530 L.E as mentioned in the investigations .
– 20 cars and 12 buses belong to the public interior transportation for Al Mahala city and the losses were 14670 L.E as mentioned in the investigations .
– The frontage of Al Watany , Alexandria , Misr , Cairo , Egypt for Islamic transactions , ATM ( automatic teller machines ) belong to the last two banks which led to losses with the amount of 209538.28 L.E .
– 8 trains as they threw stones against them the matter which led to cause damages as shown in the report of railways engineering with the amount of 56540.08 L.E .
– Car No.74994 –Gharbia, possed by Rehab Mohamed Al Gazar , and car No. 23342,24168 lorries – Gharbia belong to Gas Misr company .
They have assaulted the police men whom their name was listed in the investigation and resisted them aggressively and by force during their performance of their duty which is ensuring peace and order, by shooting them , throwing Molotov bottles at them causing by that the injuries mentioned in the medical report which stated that recovery will take up to 20 days except for the first person whose recovery would take longer than that.
They stole the walkie of the police man Mohammed Ahmed Qaoud, as some of them were possessing guns, as mentioned in the investigation.
They possessed non – licensed local guns as mentioned in the investigation.
They possessed munitions used in weapons of the accusation mentioned in the investigation.
They possessed machinery and tools that are used in attacking people; stones, bottles, sticks; as mentioned in the investigation.
They threw stones at trains and other tools of the railway ” Block Al mahala” and jeopardized it by putting burned tires on it as mentioned in the investigation.
* Defendant starting from the twenty fourth to the last one has participated with the previously mentioned defendants and other unknown ones in illegal assembly subject of the first accusation, as they refused to separate when they were told by police men ,with the intention of committing the following crimes:
The twenty fourth defendant: stole the gun which belongs to Corporal Ahmed Mohamed Abdel Wahed by coercion. He joined some unknown others and gathered around the corporal and beat him up and were able to stop him from resisting and seized his non- licensed weapon and its munitions mentioned above. This happened in one of the roads of Al mahalla city as mentioned in the investigation.
In this concern, the organization is expressing its deepest worries on the continuous phenomenon of submitting civilians to Military Courts and Emergency Supreme State Security court, which is a gross violation of everybody’s right to stand before the normal judge and complain before a higher court as well as standing before an independent tribunal established by law. These are essentials that are not available in Military Courts or Supreme State Security Courts, in which there is no possibility to appeal against sentences issued. In addition we emphasis that the expansion of submitting defendants to Special Judiciary under Emergency Law No. 162 of 1958 violating individuals rights to stand before their normal judge and depriving them of the right to appeal the sentences to a Higher Court.
For this reason, EOHR calls for the retrial of the defendants before their normal judge, to ensure the full enjoyment of their rights before the courts in a hierarchical form and appealing sentences by law, lifting the Emergency state forced on them since 1981 which violated the public rights and freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution and International Covenants on Human Rights. Also it calls the President to use his legal and constitutional power to stop the execution of the sentence, to retrial defendants before the normal judge and stop submitting civilians to Military Courts and Supreme State Security Courts.
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