MB Detainees’ Families Send Petition To Amnesty International
|Sunday, July 8,2007 04:11|
We, the undersigned families of 36 Egyptian reformists referred to a military tribunal and all of them are affiliated to the ideology or organization of the Muslim Brotherhood, lodge this complaint.
The Egyptian authorities have arrested these Muslim Brotherhood members and leaders following a martial arts performance by 40 students at Al-Azhar University. The students were protesting the university administration"s decisions of mass dismissals and mass transfers to disciplinary boards, as a punishment for their participating in parallel student elections, known later as elections of the Free Student Unions.
The Egyptian security forces arrested about 180 persons due to these incidents, including 140 students and others who were arrested on charges of instigating these students to perform the martial arts.
All detainees appeared before the Higher State Security Prosecution. It is well known that the state security prosecutions are exceptional entities and their investigators are under the authority of the Justice Minister- a member of the executive authority, and former chairman of the Higher Commission for Elections that supervised and authorized vote riggings, witnessed by all civil society organizations.
The defense lawyers challenged and fielded appeals against decisions of this prosecution in front of the Justice. Successive court rulings were issued for acquitting and immediately releasing the students (who performed the martial arts), while those whom the security services accused of incitement remained in custody. However, these also received a ruling from the Criminal Court for their immediate release and that they leave the courtroom to their homes, but the Egyptian security services did not comply with this court ruling and illegally detained them until the evening and then issued arrest warrants to maintain them. Another court ruling was issued overturning these arrest warrants, but the Egyptian regime has given a blind eye to all these court rulings, and to add fuel to fire, transferred this group to stand trial in front a military tribunal, to deprive them as civilians of the right of receiving a fair trial.
While taking all these measures, the Egyptian security services shut down the companies of the detainees and froze their assets. When an appeal against this decision was lodged, the regime picked up an ill-reputed judge who took part in rigging the elections and was one of the judges who sent opposition liberal leader Ayman Nour to jail, to hear this appeal- which he definitely overturned.
We feel there are discriminations and persecution against us, our fathers, husbands and brothers referred to a military tribunal justice because of their political opinions that oppose views of the Egyptian regime. We also feel that we lack the minimum rights of citizenship stipulated in the Egyptian constitution in the following articles:
• Article 36: General confiscation of funds shall be prohibited. Private confiscation shall not be allowed except by a judicial decision.
This article was violated because the Egyptian regime confiscated and shut down companies. Although the decision is being challenged and is still in front of justice, the Egyptian government entrusted the management of the companies to a body belonging to a state-run bank and prevented the detainees, their wives and underage children from using their own money.
• Article 40: All citizens are equal before the law. They have equal public rights and duties without discrimination due to sex, ethnic origin, language, religion or creed.
This article wasn"t used for us. Our loved ones were detained according to the emergency law and are referred to military courts. At the same time, cases of espionage, contaminated blood and looting banks are heard in civilian competent courts!! Are Muslim Brotherhood citizens enjoying the same guarantees given to other citizens?!
• Article 41: Individual freedom is a natural right not subject to violation except in cases of flagrante delicto. No person may be arrested, inspected, detained or have his freedom restricted in any way, or be prevented from free movement except by an order necessitated by investigations and the preservation of public security. This order shall be given by a competent judge or the Public Prosecution in accordance with the provisions of the law. Law defines the period of the provisional detention.
Although this group wasn"t arrested red-handed while committing something, and although they received several judicial acquittals from courts, they have been and are still under provisional arrest for more than four months without any justified reason.
•Article 47: Freedom of opinion shall be guaranteed. Every individual shall have the right to express his opinion and to publicize it verbally, in writing, by photography or by other means of expression within the limits of the law. Self criticism and constructive criticism shall guarantee the safety of the national structure.
Article 57: Any assault on individual freedom or on the inviolability of the private life of citizens and any other public rights and liberties guaranteed by the Constitution and the law shall be considered a crime, whose criminal and civil lawsuit is not liable to prescription. The State shall grant a fair compensation to the victim of such an assault.
• Article 66: Penalty shall be personal. There shall be no crime or penalty except by virtue of the law. No penalty shall be inflicted except by a judicial sentence. Penalty shall be inflicted only for acts committed subsequent to the promulgation of the law prescribing them.
Although the constitution states that “Penalty shall be personal”, the Egyptian regime insists on punishing this group on something which isn"t actually a crime and that this group didn"t do.
•Article 68: The right to litigation is inalienable for all, and every citizen has the right to refer to his competent judge. The State shall guarantee the accessibility of the judicature bodies to litigants, and the rapidity of statutes on cases. Any provision in the law stipulating the immunity of any act or administrative decision from the control of the judicature shall be prohibited.
This text reflects the huge injustice against our caregivers, detained by Mubarak"s repressive regime. While every citizen has the right to stand trial before his competent judge, the Muslim Brotherhood"s members and leaders are deprived of this right as a type of punishment and torture for opposing the policies of the Egyptian regime that spawned only a legacy of hunger, poverty and disease.
The violations which were and are still exercised by the Egyptian regime against this group of Muslim Brotherhood reformists aren"t violating the Egyptian constitution alone. They also violate all international charters and covenants in which Egypt is a signatory and to which it became committed.
Such a charter is the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which states that:
Article 2: Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.
Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty.
Article 7: All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection against any discrimination in violation of this Declaration and against any incitement to such discrimination.
Article 10: Everyone is entitled in full equality to a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal, in the determination of his rights and obligations and of any criminal charge against him.
Article 17: 1- No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his property.
Our rejection of our loved ones standing trial in front of military justices is not emerging from personal attitude or enmity. We accept justice and the judiciary, as long as it meets and applies the criteria of justice. This is, unfortunately, lacking in the Egyptian military judicial system: its judges are Armed Forces officers who are under direct authority of the General Commander of the Armed Forces, who is, at the same time, the head of the rival National Democratic Party that conspires against all Egyptian political powers. He is also the president and responsible for all policies that make the group seem negative. In other words, the judges of these military tribunals are not neutral.
The Egyptian military judicial system is a one degree judiciary whose rulings aren"t challenged or appealed, a violation to an important judicial guarantee approved all over the world- a litigation on two or more degrees!!!
The Egyptian repressive regime that jails this group of Muslim Brotherhood reformists is the same regime that persecutes the Egyptian Left, imprisoned liberal leader Ayman Nour, suppresses the Shiites, arrests Salafist groups, challenges and shows enmity to the judges and suspends elections of the syndicates of doctors and engineers. It is a regime whose only principle is remaining in power, repressing its opponents and silencing them.
We are aware that any regime may be forced to declaring a state of emergency in a certain area in its country for a certain period, and that’s something we can understand. But what can not be understood is why the state of emergency has been imposed by the Egyptian regime on all of Egypt for more than a quarter of a century. More than 70 million Egyptians are suffering from the unjust state of emergency. We know the Article Four of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights allows blocking some rights during emergency periods, but it was restricted to a specific temporary period, given that the circumstances causing this exceptional condition include a presence of a threat to the life of the nation and taking into consideration that there are rights that mustn"t be violated.
In the face of these aggressions against our freedoms, money and rights, we did the following:
1. We filed a lawsuit stating that it is unconstitutional to transfer civilians to military justices for 12 years- since 1995; the lawsuit hasn"t been ruled yet.
2. We lodged appeals against decisions of the Higher State Security Prosecution and we received acquittals and immediate releases from the competent courts, but the Egyptian government did not comply with the court rulings and it detained our loved ones and referred them to the military justice so that it can torture them after some Egyptian well-reputed judges rejected these repressive exercises that violate freedoms.
3. We, families and lawyers of the MB detainees, filed a lawsuit in which we appealed against decisions of freezing our assets. The government intervened and had the lawsuit heard by a notorious judge who topped the black list of the judges who rigged the elections, according to the Egyptian Judges" Club.
4. We have received several acquittals and releases but none of them have been implemented.
Moreover, Egypt is still under the control of a state of emergency. The Egyptian regime introduced, under increasing local and international pressures, a package of constitutional amendments that aim at consolidating the power of the ruling National Democratic party and making its rule everlasting, in addition to legalizing all human rights violations in Egypt through adding constitutional articles that authorize violating people"s dignity and freedoms.
Due to all these violations against us, we are presenting this complaint against the Egyptian government to you, asking you to show our tragedy to all human rights organizations and free men all over the world, and send our message and show this persecution and discrimination to the whole world. We also ask you to present this problem to the UN Human Rights Committee, as it is a complaint from persecuted individuals and a group of Egyptian reformists that faces discriminations because of its political views.
We hope that you consider this complaint a mandate from, authorizing you to take the best measures you see as appropriate
Accept our best regards and respect