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Egypt: NGOs condemn the trial of civilians in military tribunals

February 6, 2014 at 11:58 pm

Egyptian human rights NGOs have condemned on Monday the trial of civilians at military tribunals. They have listed around 60 such cases since the army ousted Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi on 3 July.

In a press statement, four NGOs called on interim President Adly Mansour, who was appointed by the army, to “immediately amend the law in order to prohibit trials of civilians by military tribunals.”

The NGOs that signed the statement include the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights, and the No to Military Trials Campaign that was launched in 2011 after the army assumed power following Mubarak’s ouster.

The rights organizations condemned the trials of 52 civilians who were accused of attacking soldiers in the city of Suez, with one of them sentenced to life after three hearings in a military court.

Last Tuesday, two months after the ouster of President Morsi, who is still being detained by the army in an unknown location, a member of the Muslim Brotherhood was sentenced to life, three others were sentenced to 15 years in prison, and 48 others were given sentences that ranged between five and ten years. They were all charged with attacking soldiers.

On the same day, Mansour said in his first television interview since assuming office that “no civilian has recently been tried by a military tribunal.”

But the four NGOs say they are certain that at least two military trials have taken place, with a total of 10 civilians tried in two separate hearings held on the same day, 24 July. They were all sentenced to two years in prison for carrying out attacks on troops.