July 14th, 2012 by Editor
The Egyptian Organization for Human Rights (EOHR) issued a report entitled “ Together for abolishing civilians’ military trials” on Saturday July 14, 2012. The report covered observation and documentation of typical cases of civilians’ military trials and witnesses on these cases and then ends with some recommendations. The number of detainees who were referred to military trials after 25th of Jan revolution reached approximately 13,000.
The military trials took place after several sit-ins like Petrojet workers, Maspero, cabinet headquarters, Mohamed Mahmoud street first and second sit-ins and Abbasya. After the Israeli embassy’s 1st sit-in, the detainees were referred to military courts, while after the 2nd one; they were referred to exceptional courts like the state security emergency courts. Until now they have not been released. Most of the detainees of the Suez student incident were sentenced before military courts though the civil judiciary is responsible for this.
The report refuses referring civilians to military courts, as since the establishment of the organization in 1985, it deliberately issued many reports and statements on the exceptional and military trials for civilians, and it launched many campaigns to stop referring civilians to military courts in the 90s, and it resumed its continual demands to stop military trials for civilians for years. And after the 25th of Jan revolution, and the end of the transitional period by electing a new president, the organization has focused on stopping civilians’ military trials and referring them instead to civil judiciary. Their legal rights have to be represented before civil judges, and gain an appropriate defense especially in light of expectations after the revolution to reach the rule of law.
This report has used a specific methodology depending on observing and documenting the various complaints received by the field work unit from military court referrals’ families. the report includes discussions done by the lawyers with these families and the access to all documents of cases filed, as well as listening to witnesses to come to the fact the facts. Also the follow-up of cases addressed by the various media channels, audiovisuals and electronic to keep pace with what is traded on the trials, reach the needed cases and take the appropriate legal action. Finally the field visits and meetings done by lawyers to the prosecution general offices and military courts and what they reported from referrals’ families’ testimonies.
Cases have been divided into three categories according to the type of the charge as shown below but this is only a random sample, not an exclusive one:
From January 2011 till August 2011, EOHR has reported the reference of 900 civilians to military courts. Charges were varied from theft or attempted theft, breach of the curfew, carrying weapons, bullying and threats of violence as elaborated below:
1- For theft charges: 209 cases out of 403 cases were reported with a total no. of accused persons reaching 475 out of 900.
2- For breaching of the curfew charges; 49 cases were reported out of 403, with the total no. of accused persons reaching 102.
3- For possessing weapons, bullying and threats of violence: 145 cases were reported out of 403, with a total no. of 323 accused persons out of 900.
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