Saturday, November 30, 2013

Police assault tens of activists, arrest 50+


Egypt: 40 'April 6' movement activists arrested during rally Protesting new anti-rally law, military trials for civilians 

26 November

Police on Tuesday arrested 50 protesters, including 40 from the April 6 movement that led the uprising against ex president Hosni Mubarak, on charges of attacking police officers, Al-Ahram state newspaper reported.

The arrests took place as police used tear gas and water cannon to disperse hundreds who took the streets of the capital to protest a new law curtailing the right to demonstrate as well as an article in the new Constitution allowing for civilians to be tried in military tribunals. 

That article says civilians can be tried in military court in cases of attacks on military structures, property, vehicles, or personnel, and in military zones and border areas. It was voted in last Wednesday by 30 members of the so-called Committee of 50, which is made up of representatives from various sectors of Egyptian society and is in charge of laying the juridical framework of post-Morsi Egypt. There were seven votes against, two abstentions and 11 absences, Al-Ahram reported.

Military tribunals are not independent because they do not respect minimum due process criteria, and because any high-ranking officer can modify their rulings whether or not he ever sat on the jury, opposition leader Mohamed Fouda told Al-Ahram. 

The new public protest law says that police can disperse unauthorized rallies, that requests for authorization must be made three days prior, and that violators can be punished with fines and jail time.

Committee President Amr Mussa, an ex Arab League secretary and former presidential candidate, has called on the interior ministry to free the demonstrators. Several other Committee members said they will suspend themselves until the prisoners are let go. 

No comments: