Egypt referred 4,000 civilians to military court in 2015
The number is extremely alarming compared to last year when only 500 civilians were tried by military courts. (AFP/File)
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Some 4,000 Egyptian civilians have been referred to military courts in one year, a prominent human rights activist said.
In October 2014, President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi approved legislation allowing individuals accused of committing violations against state institutions to be referred to military courts.
"Around 4,000 civilians have been referred to military tribunals in one year since the law was enacted," Ahmed Mefreh of the Geneva-based Alkarama for Human Rights said in a Wednesday statement.
Mefreh cited that more than 500 civilians were tried by a military court on violence charges last year.
"These referrals represent a collective punishment that wastes the [defendants'] rights and freedoms," he said.
Egypt has been dogged by turmoil since the military deposed Mohamed Morsi, the country's first freely elected president, in a 2013 coup.
Since then, Egyptian authorities have carried out a relentless crackdown on dissent that has mainly targeted the ousted president’s supporters, leaving hundreds dead and thousands behind bars.
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