Top US Rights Activist: Barring Previous Monitors Won’t Dissuade us from Coming
|Wednesday, September 26,2007 07:54|
|By Abdul Rahman Mansour|
The Egyptian bar association witnessed a press conference that included Khurrum Wahid, the US well-known human rights activist and a former legal advisor to the board of directors of the Council of American-Islamic Relations (CAIR),and Mrs. Nurah Rosalie P. Jeter Amat’ullah, the US top human rights activist and a Founder and Executive Director of the Muslim Women’s Institute for Research and Development (MWIRD). The international human rights activists held this press conference after they were denied access to attend and monitor the fifteenth session of the military tribunal against 40 Muslim Brotherhood (MB) leaders topped by engineer Khairat Al-Shater, the MB"s second deputy chairman.
" I did not attend come to defend the MB, I have come to observe hoe justice is established and I was prevented from doing so" said Khurrum Wahid about the reason for coming to Cairo. " I wish that governments all over the world try civilians in front of competent and natural judges. I know that the Egyptian justice is good, why don"t Muslim Brotherhood leaders stand trial before it?!", wondered the US famous attorney.
As fro Mrs Rosalie Jeter, she has pointed out that her concern over families of the Muslim Brotherhood detainees forced her to come to the Egyptian capital Cairo. Jeter called on the Egyptian government to send case of the MB detainees to a civil court. " I call on everyone concerned to work for reunifying families of these detainees again, it is so painful to keep them in such a state", added Rosalie.
The US human rights activist, Khurrum Wahid, has called on from Cairo the US government to shut down the notorious Guantanamo prison because it is similar to what is happening in Egypt. Civilians in Cairo are tried in front of military courts and are denied their civil rights the same as what happens in Guantanamo.
When asked why he comes to attend although previous observers were prevented from monitoring the military court sessions, Wahid:" Preventing previous observers does not mean that we don"t come. I thought that being a Muslim may give me an exception!!", while Rosalie said:" The previous cases of preventing monitors from supervising the tribunal should not prevent us from coming. As the military court against Muslim Brotherhood leaders is illegitimate, the least we can is to attempt to observe it".
Asked about the possible role that the US government may do, Khurrum Wahid believes said:" The US Congress is open to all US citizens, and I have relations with Congressmen and I will urge them to attempt to stop such bad actions"!.
The US lawyer said that he knew the case from Ramsey Clark the former US Attorney General and previously came to Egypt to attend the military court sessions." Many US human rights activists know this case because it is so stirring, why and how can civilians be tried in front of a military court? ", wondered Khurrum Wahid.
"I have come here also because there is a concern in the United States over establishing the so called National Security Court to try Guantanamo detainees, which is similar to what is happening in Egypt where civilians are tried in front of military judges!!" said Khurrum Wahid adding to his reasons for coming to Egypt to monitor the military trial against the MB top leaders.
The pressed conference raised a media controversy inside it about the reason behind the arrival of international observers to monitor the military court sessions. Abdul Moneim Abdul Maqsoud, the head of the defence team, said that the repeated arrival of observers is due to their conviction that the cause of the MB detainees is fair and they need to defend it.
"It is a political case in the first place, we don"t want such political conflict to be sent to the judiciary", added Abdul Maqsood.
Asked about the benefit from the defence team"s maintaining its job in the case although it is politically motivated, the MB chief lawyer said:" The defence team will continue its legal struggle to restore rights to civilian MB leaders. The previous military courts did not dissuade the Muslim Brotherhood members from carrying out their reformist role in society".
"I wonder why civilians stand trial before military courts. The military justice is a body which is affiliated to the Ministry of Defense which is under command of the Minister of Defense and the Minister of Defense is under command of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, how can civilians be tried in front of the military justice?", wondered the defence team chief Abdul Moneim Abdul Maqsoud.
It is worth mentioning that the Military Tribunal will hold its sixteenth session on Wednesday, sep, 26th, 2007, to continue trying the MB top leaders.
Khurrum Wahid, the US well-known human rights activist and a former legal advisor to the board of directors of the Council of American-Islamic Relations (CAIR),and Mrs. Nurah Rosalie P. Jeter Amat’ullah, the US top human rights activist and a Founder and Executive Director of the Muslim Women’s Institute for Research and Development (MWIRD) are scheduled to attend Wednesday 16th military trial against the MB leaders.