Amnesty International Blasts Egyptian Trial of 94 Alleged Islamists
Amnesty International on Monday urged Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to end the referral of civilians to military courts as they deny defendants their rights, and spotlighted the current trial of 94 Islamists as an example of justice gone wrong.
The international rights watchdog said the military tribunals violated the "fundamental requirements of international law."
In an official statement by the human rights group, Amnesty said that several of the accused were tortured while being held in incommunicado detention on premises of the State Security Intelligence agency, where torture and ill-treatment of detainees is commonly practiced.
Amnesty said that the use of a military court for the trial of 94 Egyptian and foreign Islamists violated "fundamental requirements of international law."
"Trials before these military courts violate fundamental requirements of international law for fair trial, including the right to be tried before a competent, independent and impartial court established by law and the right to appeal to a higher court," Amnesty International said.
The appeal follows the appearance on Nov. 18, before a military court, of 94 civilians charged in connection with their alleged affiliation with armed Islamist groups, said Amnesty.
Some 170 other defendants are also due to appear before a military court on similar charges following their referral by a presidential decree on Oct. 16. Many members of this group have reportedly been held for several years in administrative detention.
According to the statement, the appointment of military judges and the referral of cases to courts by the executive of the government creates a strong link between military courts and the executive, which does not provide sufficient guarantees of independence and casts doubts on their impartiality – Albawaba.com