Archive for May 11th, 2012

11/05/2012

Military Trials of Thousands of Egyptian Civilians “Legal”

Human Wrongs Watch

Egypt’s parliament on May 6, 2012, approved amendments to the Code of Military Justice that failed to end the unprecedented expansion of military trials of civilians, despite pleas for reform from the legal and human rights communities, a major human rights group deplored.

**Photo by EGY-ARMY-MID11 | Wikimedia Commons

According to a Human Rights Watch (HRW) report, in 2011 more than 12,000 civilians, including children, faced unfair military trials which fail to provide the basic due process rights of civilian courts, more than the number of military trials of civilians during 30 years of rule by former president Hosni Mubarak.

The military has continued to try civilians before military tribunals in 2012 despite promises to limit the practice. More than 300 civilians arrested since May 4 in Cairo during the clashes near the ministry of defense in Cairo are now also scheduled for military trials, HRW report adds.

“It’s shocking that this elected parliament has failed to take the basic step of protecting Egyptian civilians against an inherently unfair military justice system,” said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East and North Africa director at Human Rights Watch. “Parliament’s failure to ban a major abuse of the military government betrays campaign promises to deliver justice to all Egyptians.”

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