to Military Trials for Civilians
The Army has been protecting the revolution since the first day
Fine, so explain: if the army has been in the square since first day, and everyone was being searched and showing their identity cards, why did the Battle of the Camels happen on February 2nd, in which thugs entered with their knives and blades, their horses and camels, with their salads and baba ghanug? And explain the military police’s attack (the military police belong to the army by the way) on the protesters opposing Shafiq’s government on February 25th. Explain why these protesters were arrested, tortured, and given military trials, and given an apology from the army the next day? Explain the repetition of this same scene on March 6th, March 9th, and April 8th, albeit without apology this time?
The army actually tortures?
These are eyewitness statements from some of the victims and their families. Of course we only report the ones we know about, but there are many no one knows anything about.
Yeah, but the army denied that any of this happened
And this was condemned by human rights organizations, because it’s the same as the old regime’s policy.
They deserve it, they’re thugs
Regardless of the fact that they aren’t thugs, even if they were, why are they tortured? Why are they tried in military courts while Habib al-’Adili is tried as a civilian? The law that the army issued says: “Article 9 of the Constitutional Declaration: Every citizen who is arrested, imprisoned, or has his freedoms restricted, must be treated so that his human dignity is preserved. He cannot be harmed physically or psychologically, nor can he be detained or imprisoned anywhere other than in places subject to prison regulation laws. Everything that the citizen says under the stress of order or threat is void and unreliable.
I didn’t agree with the sit-in in the first place
And I didn’t agree with Michael Nabil’s opinions, or with the presence of thugs among us, but I reject that any human being should be tortured or that any civilian be tried in military court.
From torture victims
‘Ali Subhi is an actor. He was arrested and tortured by the army in the [Egyptian] museum under the charge of being a thug.
Rami ‘Isam is a singer, best known as the singer of the Revolution. He participated in the sit-in and sang for the revolution everyday. He and about one hundred fifty other Egyptians were arrested on March 9th, among them seventeen girls, and they were tortured in the museum. Rami was held for about two weeks, and after he was released he couldn’t wear a t-shirt on his back. Rami’s story is on YouTube: tinyurl.com/64mcdoh
From victims of military trial
‘Amr ‘Isa is an artist who was arrested, tortured, and received a strict military sentence of three years in Tura prison.
Muhammad ‘Adil works as a CitiBank employee in the morning and a Bilafone employee at night. He was arrested on January 28th and received a military sentence of five years. The Supreme Council issued a decision on March 28th to retry him, but so far nothing has happened.
‘Amr al-Bahiri was arrested at dawn on February 26th during a peaceful protest demanding the resignation of Shafiq’s governmen; he was then transferred for investigation on the 27th. He stood before a military judge on the 28th without a defense attorney, and was not allowed to contact his family. He was deprived the chance to use witnesses or present evidence to prove his innocence. On March 1st he received a sentence of five years.
There are many others, including some children under the age of sixteen, who received military sentences. Some are in al-Ahdath [prison], some in Tura (with the important figures).
From the victims of the Armed Forces’ oppression of freedoms
Michael Nabil was arrested in his house after writing a report on the Armed Forces. You can disagree with his personal opinions, but surely you won’t agree with the military court’s process: the prosecutor told Michael’s lawyer that he would be sentenced on a specific day, and later he discovers that Michael had already received a sentence of three years. Michael wasn’t even arrested because he said his opinion; Michael was arrested because he published facts.
Ok, so what do you want?
The immediate cessation of military trials for civilians, and the transfer of the military sentences that have already been issued to civilian judges.
The immediate release of the revolution’s youth who were arrested in peaceful protests, and the cancellation of the military sentences that were issued against some of them.
The cessation of all types of torture in any place in our free Egypt, whether in police prisons, military detention centers, or “Public Security Apparatus” headquarters, and for any person, even convicted criminals.
Investigation of all the transgressions committed by “some elements of the army” against Egyptian citizens since the beginning of the Armed Forces’ taking power. The adoption of measures necessary to prevent these transgressions from occurring again, in order to both preserve Egyptians’ safety on the one hand, and restore the army’s great status in the hearts of the Egyptians—which it gained thanks to its political neutrality and fulfillment of its duty to defend all Egyptian citizens without distinction—on the other.
Acquired 22 April 2011
Translated by Yasmeen Mekawy
Translation reviewed by Emily Drumsta