Ikhwanweb’s Statement on Postponing Military Court Ruling
Ikhwanweb’s Statement on Postponing Military Court Ruling
Tuesday, February 26,2008 07:15
The highly anticipated final session of military tribunal for Muslim Brotherhood leaders, harshly criticized by international human rights organizations deemed by Egyptian civilian judiciary as "politically motivated", was adjourned till March 25, 2008.
Detainees, who have been in jail for 15 months despite of four acquittals by civilian courts, will have to spend some more time in prison to pay the price for the Brotherhood"s decision to run in the upcoming municipal elections. After being used by the regime as hostages to pressure the MB"s decision, the MB insisted on contesting, asserting its willingness to pay the price for reform despite hundreds of arrested members and an aggressive media distortion campaign. The pressuring card is now void, and the regime"s political calculations need to be revisited, and therefore postponing the verdict was necessary. Detainees" stay in prison will be extended till major political turbulences are over, and their families, students and colleagues will have to pay the price.
As the tribunal is prolonged, things are getting increasingly complicated in Egypt. The country is witnessing an increasing number of workers and government employees" riots and strikes, protesting a low pay and increasing prices. University professors and medical doctors are also protesting, and threatening to go on strike due to deteriorating economic and political conditions. Torture scandals that took place in police stations have only increasing tensions between Egyptian citizens and police officers, and led to mounting levels of frustration amongst Egyptians. The regime"s inability to play a significant regional and international role has further intensified public discontent, while the alliance between the handful of ruling figures and business cronies has had a devastating impact on the daily lives of Egyptians and their ability to secure respectable lives.
The verdict will also come after an EU Parliament resolution, condemning the deteriorating state of human rights in Egypt, and deeming trialing civilians before military tribunals a violation of these basic human rights. The decision followed a large number of statements condemning Mubarak"s decision to transfer the case to a military tribunal, issued by international human rights organizations including Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, Arab Commission for Human Rights, Egyptian Organization for Human Rights and other leading organizations.
It is partially the pressure exerted by these rights groups backed by international community mildly pushing for reform and democratization in Egypt that caused the regime to postpone the verdicts. Such pressure might contribute to lifting injustice and oppression from detainees and their families.
No matter what the verdict is it will not undermine the Brotherhood"s vividness and popularity as the largest opposition group in Egypt. In fact, it will have an opposite effect, as more people worldwide will become aware of injustice faced by the Brotherhood in its struggle for reform. More Egyptians are already sympathizing with the Brotherhood, and more are joining the group in its activities.
The verdict will also fail to drag the Brotherhood out of its chosen path of reform. While we will exert every effort to bring justice to detainees behind bars, we will never lose track of our moderate ideological orientation, peaceful approach for reform, and patience and wisdom in dealing with mounting crackdowns.