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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 7/9/11

Egyptians Again Rally for Change

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Egyptians Again Rally for Change - by Stephen Lendman

Before and after Mubarak was ousted, Egypt's military arrested, imprisoned, tortured, and disappeared thousands, a practice continuing to ruthlessly stay in power and prevent change.

Moreover, thousands arrested are being tried in military courts, denying them due process or judicial fairness. Allowed only court-appointed counsel, attorneys get minutes with clients to review charges before presenting their case in proceedings.

In addition, multiple defendants are tried simultaneously. Ten thousand or more were sentenced in recent months, some to death, and lawyers can't appeal. Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR) attorney Adel Ramadan said nothing under Mubarak was like this. The ruling junta is much more extreme, cracking down ruthlessly against challenges to its authority.

The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) issued a July 4 press release, stating "its utter and complete rejection of trying civilians before military courts, especially those arrested for using their legitimate right to expression."

Many activists were tried and convicted, including Michael Nabil, sentenced to three years in military prison for posting, "Army and people, never hand in hand." Another activist, Amr elBeheiry, got five years for demonstrating in Tahrir Square. 

ANHRI said military proceedings "lack the bare minimum of fair trial standards....It is not an overstatement to say that (Egypt's) judiciary (isn't) the only sector that has not witnessed any changes after the revolution."

On June 29, Amnesty International (AI) Cairo representatives witnessed security forces attacking demonstrators, "firing tear gas randomly, beating protesters with sticks and firing shotguns." As a result, many hundreds were hurt, AI saying:

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I was born in 1934, am a retired, progressive small businessman concerned about all the major national and world issues, committed to speak out and write about them.

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