In the aftermath of the July 3 intervention that toppled Muslim Brotherhood President Mohamed Morsi, Egyptians have suffered through the most intense human rights abuses and terrorism in their recent history. Over 2,500 civilians have been killed in protests and clashes, more than 17,000 have been wounded, and more than 16,000 have been arrested in demonstrations and clashes since July 3. Those who are detained have been tortured and sexually humiliated in police stations and Egypt's most notorious prisons.
After the so-called popularly supported intervention, the level of violence under General Sisi`s military dominated regime, the country has been experiencing an unprecedented level of violence that has not been seen in Egypt’s modern history.
While General Abdel Fatah al-Sisi is getting ready to be the next president in the mock elections scheduled for May 26-27, the Egyptian military is trying to crush and completely extinguish hopes for any changes for the New Egypt.
Sisi`s Egypt is a `praetorian state` fortified by a justice system whose trade mark is the kangaroo courts assigning death sentences at the military`s `kind requests`.
Recently, three Al Jazeera journalists were put on trial and charged with falsifying news and working with the Muslim Brotherhood. On April 10, the prosecution came to the trial with the claim that they had new evidence to support their case against the defendants. The judge dismissed the totally irrelevant “evidence” but not the charges.
The interim government, which is nothing more than a puppet for the military`s domination, has closed down numerous TV and print media affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamist currents. Any critical voice, Islamist or not, is not tolerated at all. According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, Egypt is the third deadliest country for journalists in 2013, following Syria and Iraq.
Without leaving any traces of doubts in mind, the judicial branch is at present openly working hand-in-hand with the military in a coordinated effort to suppress all sorts of civil disobedience and meaningful opposition in the country. The absurd and terrifying March 24 sentencing of 529 Morsi supporters to death in one mass mock trial is a public declaration that dissent will not be tolerated in the new military dominted system. The kangaroo court charged the entire group with the killing of one police officer. The trial consisted of two sessions. Each one took less than an hour, which possibly broke a world record in terms of its speed to end such an enormous case. In the first session, the judge angrily refused all the requests by the defense lawyers for more time to review the prosecution's case. In the second session, the judge prevented the defense lawyers from even entering the courtroom.
American Secretary of State Kerry said that the sentence “defies logic”; but his government decided to reinstate a portion of Egypt`s military aid anyway. Amnesty International described the ruling of the kangaroo court as being “grotesque”.
Although the American government thinks that Egypt deserves American military aid, being an American citizen does not save a defendant from the unjust ruling given by a mock trial. The 26-year-old Ohio State University graduate Muhammed Soltan was arrested when he was serving as a citizen journalist to assist English-speaking media in their coverage of the anti-coup sit-in at Rabaa Square that was violently raided by police and resulted in the death of over 1,000 people. In jail for over 7 months, in order to protest his unfair treatment by the Egyptian justice system, Soltan has been on a hunger strike since January 26. When he was arrested, he had a wound from being shot that had not yet healed. His health condition has continuously been deteriorating since his arrest. Prison officials, however, refused to treat him. Postponed several times, there is no update on when his trial might actually take place.
Female activists also are not exempted from dehumanizing experiences. They have been subjected to virginity tests while in custody in addition to harsh conditions in prisons. There are reports that they are being forced to sleep on the floor and not being allowed to use the bathroom for 10 hours from 10pm to 8am every day. Several human rights organizations reported that beatings and sexual harassment of female prisoners are also among common practices of the Egyptian security forces.
There are some indications that internal crackdown may be getting worse. The Egyptian president approved a new so-called counter terrorism legislation that assigns the government increased powers to suppress freedom of expression and imprison opponents.
Two new draft laws violate the right to free expression. It includes an article that regulates penalties of up to three years’ imprisonment for verbally insulting a public employee or member of the security forces. And of course, this article is open to a loose interpretation that may categorize any simple criticism as an insult.
The new draft laws broaden the existing definition of terrorism to include actions aimed at damaging national unity, natural resources, monuments, communication systems, the national economy, or hindering the work of judicial bodies and diplomatic missions in Egypt. According to Amnesty International, the category of vaguely worded ‘terrorist offenses’ potentially allows the authorities to bring a terrorism charge against virtually anyone who raise any criticism or activism involving a protest toward the government.
The draft legislation also makes a lot easier to sentence someone with death penalty by discovering ill-defined criminal categories such as “managing or administering a terrorist group.” As known, the Muslim Brotherhood was categorized as a terrorist organization by the Egyptian authorities in December despite the fact that no factual evidence was provided that it is engaged in any sort of terrorist attacks.
Mubarak`s authoritarian regime was well guarded by the police that did not need the direct involvement of the military. After the July 3 intervention, the praetorian character of the Egyptian regime is dominant and the police and judiciary are mere tools to justify the domination of the military in overall political system.Last Mod: 04 Haziran 2014, 16:36