Sunday, September 22, 2013

#BanMiltrials : The Battle is on

This is one of the main challenges we are currently having when it comes to the Constitution 2012 amendments and God knows it is not a challenge more than it is a battle.
This battle, this challenge is the military trials for civilians. You see according to the Constitution 2012 vague article 198 civilians can stand military trials.
Here is what article 198 says “Translated to English by Dr. Nivien Salah
The military judiciary is an independent branch of the judiciary. It alone decides on all crimes related to the armed forces, their officers, and personnel.
Civilians may not be tried by the military judiciary unless they are accused of crimes that hurt the armed forces. The law specifies these crimes as well as other competencies of the military judiciary.
Members of the military judiciary are independent. They cannot be dismissed, and they have the guarantees, rights, and duties that attach to all members of the judiciary.

According to Constitutional law expert Gaber Nassar who is also the head of Cairo University and a member in the Constitution committee this is a vague article.
Nassar gave a brief history of the military trials in Egypt as well in a series of tweets on Friday. They are extremely important.
1- It was first called “military trials in barracks” and after July 1952 the term “military judiciary” was introduced for the first time to the Egyptian legal system.
2- It was meant to market it as a judiciary but it is not. In the end of Mubarak era two stages legal procedures “primary and appeal” were introduced to the military judiciary in order to enforce the false idea that it is not a special judiciary.
3- In Constitution 2012 , it was said that military judiciary was an independent judiciary which can not be because in the end the military judge is an officer who follows the minister of defense.

It is worth to mention that Constitution 2012 gave the army privileges that have not been granted to the military institution in any other previous constitution in the history of Egypt including Constitution 1971.
Now the brave No For Military trials campaign has started a new crusade against the armed forces in order to stop the military trials for civilians and to make civilians stand civilian trials constitutionally.
Tomorrow the No For Military trials campaign will have a hearing session in order to explain their views to the Constitution committee.
Last Thursday the head of the military judiciary had his hearing in front of the committee. Of course the media focused on what he said without even trying to represent the other views at least from the professional way !!
By the way Tamaroud representatives aka youth representatives in the Constitution committee “Mahmoud Badr and Mohamed Abdel Aziz” seem to be okay with the military trials for civilians. The Nasserites also seem to be okay with the military for civilians.
Nevertheless there are some voices in the committee against the military like Constitutional law expert and head of Cairo University Dr. Gaber Nassar whom I quoted above as well artist Mohamed Abla.
Currently we know that two journalists are standing military trials and sadly enough they are from Sinai : Mohamed Sabry and Ahmed Abu Draa.
Mohamed Sabry stood a military trial in time of ousted president Morsi and up till now his trial is being adjourned for ages.
Now here are important remarks I would like to add regarding the military trials and my source is none other than the fantastic and brave Mona Seif herself.
  • Up till now we do not know the exact number of the civilians who stood and are standing military trials. The latest number we have got is “11,000” and this is according to the statement of Adel Morsi , the former head of military judiciary to Ahram Gate in September 2011. Since then there are no official statements about the exact number.
  • It is true that there are no civilian prisoners in the military prisons because the civilian prisoners have been transferred to civilian prisons since 2012.
  • The military trials are on rise after June 30 mainly in the governorates away from media like in Suez canal governorates , North Sinai and Matrouh as well some Upper Egyptian governorates like Minya.
  • The No for military trials campaign is trying to help people as much it can but it does not have lawyers or activists enough to help people in those campaigns.


  1. Real democracies have clear rules as in citizens are equal in-front of the law and one will have his/her day in court and be judged by his/her own peers and that the defendant will have to face his/her accuser and be able to defend himself and if he/she is unable to hire a lawyer then he/she will have a court appointed lawyer. And justice delayed is justice denied. And that rules of evidence are really followed by the courts

    Also the judiciary must be independent from the legislative bodies and from the leadership of the country and that there is no place for unusual or cruel punishment as in torture or chopping arms or stoning people and that there is no place for military courts except under very strict conditions that guarantee and protect the defendants and their rights and that civilian courts are the courts of choice

    But we have established that Egypt is not a democracy and its people really have no clue about what is really democracy all about so may be there is where it really should start: Education of all about rights and duties

  2. It would be a notable step foward for the country if military trials for civilians could be outlawed and forbidden entirely. The explosion in their use is a travesty and reflects a pervesion of justice.

  3. Zeinobia,

    You and all your hidden Ikhwani friends are next. It is over. Fuck democracy, fuck anything but the army. We rule. You submit. You CUNT.

    1. Anonymous who is having a meltdown wrote

      >You and all your hidden Ikhwani friends are next. It is over. Fuck democracy, fuck anything but the army. We rule. You submit. You CUNT.

      When you call people names and use obscene swear words to advance your point of view then you have lost the argument

      Listen I have no likes for el-ikhwan el-mugrimeen but I would rather debate them and prove them wrong than use swear words and give no reason for what I'm trying to say so let me help you
      1. You are saying that Zeinobia has ikhangiyya friends this is not illegal so what is your point?
      2. You are also saying that "it is over" what is over? and why do you believe so?
      3. Then yo wrote ":we rule" and who are the "we"?
      4. The you wrote "you submit" to whom and why should she submit?
      5. Then you swear and you wrote "you c*nt"! would you like someone to say to your mother or your sister "you c*nt" a yes or no will do
      6. Why did you write "f*ck democracy" can you give us readers a reason and if you dislike democracy what do you have as an alternative? Political Islam? or military fascism?
      7. You wrote "f*ck anything" does this include you? Do you see why you have to use logic and not emotions to advance your point of view

      Now I will be waiting for your answers with great anticipation: Go!.

  4. Zeinobia: I understand that a judge froze the financial assets of the el-ikhwan el-mugrimeen and for this I say: Good and i would say to him/her to disperse the money to the families of the victims of this criminal group and victims of their terrorism be it police of military recruits that were murdered or Copts and their burnt Churches

    Now should el-ikhwan el-mugrimeen's group be outlawed? The answer is no and if this criminal group is to be defeated it should be done in the market place of ideas

  5. Recent reports suggest the No To Military Trials campaign is making headway. The assembly should keep in mind that a yes vote on the referendum is not 100% foreordained and will require creating a product worthy of the name.

  6. How about this for a revolutionary idea.

    If Egyptians dont want to end up in Military Court then stop attacking the Military and their Military property!

    There fixed!

  7. The idea of innocent until proven guilty matters. The so-called military judiciary doesn't understand justice and often makes false and dangerous accusations.

  8. Zeinobia,
    why do you use a german version (.de) of blogspot? Is it an accident? Or is it coincidence?

    Say, do you avoid an egypt version for some reason? Or do you know Germany for some reason?

    I'm interested, but you should feel free, not to answer.

    Thank you for your attention!

    1. Actually I do not use .de or .eg "it does not exist" , this is Google url system based on your own location. My original url ends with .com

  9. Zeinobia,
    open your eyes wide and discover a more general alternative to prohibit civilians tried by military courts.

    The first option is a prohibition in the Constitution. If one can not ban it, then you should not explicitly allow it. Military trials for civilians are then issue a simple law. Only then can you prevent it through the legal process!

    One has to keep the legal system under civilian control.

    In a civil state, ie without military rule or dictatorship, the legislature is civil. All laws, including military law, must be compliant with the Constitution. The supreme civil court is always the Constitutional Court.

    Practically a civil court has to be the supreme court of appeal. This ensures that all aspects of a process are examined by civilian courts. Civilians can argue against military trials with their basic rights such as equality before the law.

    The third benefit young democracies of international jurisprudence. After the overthrow of a dictator, the old institutions such as the judiciary, military or police remain largely intact. Citizens from Eastern European countries such as Russia or Turkey get their civil rights often at the European Court of Human Rights.

    Accordingly Egypt should grant its citizens the INDIVIDUAL RIGHT of action before the African Court of Human Rights and Peoples' Rights. Africa to Europe is the second continent that guarantees these rights to its citizens!

    The individual complaints procedure at present is recognized only by Burkina Faso, Malawi, Mali, Tanzania, Ghana and Rwanda. Egyptians and Tunisians could benefit from this Court as next.

    Egyptians should take advantage of anything that helps in achieving their goals of the revolution!


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