The Egyptian army’s mask has slipped

I had the following published over at the Guardian’s Comment is Free page

Those in control have draped themselves in the revolutionary flag – but trials by military tribunals show how phony this is

The growing practice of sending Egyptian civilians for trial by military tribunals is one sign that the armed forces council now ruling the country is not serving the goals of the revolution.

Since 1962, when a law passed by President Nasser allowed civilians to be put before military tribunals, such trials have been used to convict political enemies of the regime – often on evidence too flimsy for civilian courts.

Following the revolution earlier this year, many hoped that such trials would cease. But the supreme council of the armed forces (Scaf), which assumed power after the fall of President Mubarak, has not only continued resorting to military tribunals but has been using them more and more. Now, rather than communists or Islamist groups, it is democratic activists, and indeed the population at large that have become the targets.

Since 28 January, when the military, while publicly remaining neutral in the revolution, began grabbing activists off the streets, there have been at least 5,000 cases handled by these kangaroo courts. Adel Ramadan, a lawyer from the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR), points out that in many such cases there is more than one defendant, so the number of people tried is probably more like 10,000 – more than during the entire reign of Mubarak…..

Click here to read the rest.

Oh, and I was recently interviewed on Russia Today about the same topic: Check it out.





About Austin G. Mackell

I am a freelance journalist who has worked for a variety of corporate and community outlets from my hometown of Sydney and from the Middle East, including from Lebanon during Israels 2006 invasion and from Iran during the tumultuous presidential elections there in 2009. I have recently moved to Cairo to watch the revolutions in Arab world unfold.
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