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These violations of international law in Egypt must be challenged

January 23, 2014 at 4:24 am

Recent dangerous developments led to overthrew of Egypt’s democratic experience whilst still in its infancy. These developments included constitutional violations, as well as violation of international law, which suggest the return of a repressive dictatorship and the end of the short-lived democratic experience in Egypt.

Despite the justifications offered by those who argue for the abortion of democracy, the legal impact of this indicates an uncertain future for Egypt, both at a domestic and an international level.

The most significant constitutional and international law violations have been:

  • The military coup carried out by Egyptian Defense Minister, Colonel Abdul Fattah Al-Sisi against the elected president. This is considered a “crime of treason” in the Egyptian constitution and the punishment is execution.
  • Abducting the legitimate Egyptian president, Mohamed Mosri, whose fate remains unknown. In addition, preventing concerned international organisations, such as the Red Cross, from visiting him.
  • Closing satellite television stations and prohibiting freedom of expression as guaranteed by international laws and the new Egyptian constitution.
  • Targeting Islamists in general, particularly the Muslim Brotherhood, both politically and by the security forces, are flagrant violations of the Egyptian constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
  • These assaults are considered to be outright violations of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political rights, both of which are signed by the Egyptian government.
  • Deliberately killing peaceful protestors and targeting worshippers with live ammunition is considered a “crime against humanity” in accordance with article 7 of the Statute of the International Criminal Court. The act is not only punishable but goes against the morals of civilized nations and the human conscience.

The international community cannot ignore these dangerous violations of international law, or the talk of dismantling the sit-ins and disregarding the rights and demands of the Egyptian people, who have made great sacrifices for the January 25 2011 revolution and who continue to make sacrifices in order to achieve justice and freedom.

It is truly a disgrace that the Western world, who have always preached to underdeveloped countries that they should establish the foundations of freedom and democracy, supports a military coup that destroys the most important monuments of democracy in Arab Spring countries.

Rather, the Western world should bear its moral, humanitarian, and legal responsibilities for events in Egypt and should support the return of the legitimate president, Dr Mohamed Morsi, to his position, without delay. They should also demand the prosecution of all those responsible for the aforementioned crimes in a fair trial before the Egyptian judiciary.

In addition, the Security Council could call for an emergency session to examine the Egyptian situation and refer these dangerous crimes, in accordance with Chapter 7 of the United Nations Charter, to the International Criminal Court to open an investigation, based on Article 13 B of the Statute of the International Criminal Court.

Director-General of the Center for International Legal Studies – Al Ahsa, Saudi Arabia

The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.