Share on Google Plus Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share on LinkedIn Share on PInterest Share on Fark! Share on Reddit Share on StumbleUpon Tell A Friend

Printer Friendly Page Save As Favorite View Favorites (# of views)   No comments
OpEdNews Op Eds

Is That a Light at the End of the Tunnel? Or an Oncoming Train?

By       Message WILLIAM FISHER     Permalink
      (Page 1 of 5 pages)
Related Topic(s): ; ; ; ; , Add Tags Add to My Group(s)

View Ratings | Rate It Headlined to H3 3/3/11

Author 7
Become a Fan
  (11 fans)

Human rights groups including Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International have called on Egyptian military authorities for the immediate release of a peaceful pro-democracy demonstrator tried and convicted in a military court.


The organizations also charged that military courts should not be used to prosecute civilians.


The military should "halt detentions of peaceful demonstrators and end violence by soldiers against protesters and detainees," one of the organizations, Human Rights Watch (HRW), said yesterday.


"Egyptian military authorities are continuing one of the worst practices of the Hosni Mubarak government by prosecuting civilians in military tribunals," said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East and North Africa director at Human Rights Watch. "Authorities have no business arresting people merely for participating in a peaceful demonstration in the first place."


In one recent case, on February 26, soldiers arrested at least nine people during demonstrations in and near Tahrir Square, in central Cairo. The Defense Ministry, in a March 1 news release, announced that it was investigating them for having "sneaked in among the youth," protesting in the square and "causing unrest."


In fact, on that day, a military court had convicted one of them, Amr Abdallah al-Bahari, 32, for assaulting a soldier and breaking curfew, his lawyer, Adel Ramadan, told HRW. Soldiers physically abused al-Bahari when they arrested him on February 26, a witness said.


Al-Bahari's brother, Mohammed, told HRW that soldiers arrested al-Bahari after midnight February 26 when the army raided Tahrir Square and a nearby street in front of parliament to clear the area of demonstrators. The brother said that the soldiers held al-Bahari incommunicado and refused him access to lawyers. Ramadan discovered al-Bahari's conviction while inspecting records at a military courthouse in the Nasr City district of Cairo on March 2.


In another case, Amnesty said it has received information on Maaty Ahmed Hamed Abu Arab who was arrested on February 3 in Tahrir Square while on his way to buy food. He was sentenced to five years in prison by a military court for breaking curfew and possession of a weapon. He, along with many others, is now held in Al Wadi Al Gadid prison, in the remote western desert.


Next Page  1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5


- Advertisement -

View Ratings | Rate It
William Fisher has managed economic development programs in the Middle East and elsewhere for the US State Department and the US Agency for International Development. He served in the international affairs area in the Kennedy Administration and now (more...)

Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon

Go To Commenting
/* The Petition Site */
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Writers Guidelines

Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Related Topic(s): ; ; ; ; , Add Tags

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Liberties Lost Since 9/11

The Silence of the Sheep



Law Professors Outraged by Senate Vote on Indefinite Detention

Feel Safer Now?