مُتاح أيضًا بـ: العربية (Arabic)
Over the course of two years, the courts deliberated about the issue of the “prisoners of hope” to become the best example of the political and human rights phase that Egypt is going through now. After thousands of chants and songs that indicate hope for the future, the nightmare of reality fell upon our chests when the security forces arrested a group of the most prominent leaders of political parties for their attempt to form a legitimate electoral alliance to contest the parliamentary elections as they are constitutionally entitled. But the current authority situation in Egypt does not differentiate between legitimate entities that take legal political paths, and criminals. The only choice is between being active the umbrella of state policy or accusation with terrorism.
The famous lawyer, prominent activist and former parliamentarian in the 2011 parliament, Ziyad El Elaimy, member of the Supreme Committee of the Social Democratic Party, was one of the biggest victims of the Al-Amal “hope’’ case. With his absurd pretrial detention for more than two years, he was tried in another case and sentenced to one year in prison and a fine of 20,000 pounds. , for broadcasting false news and statements during a television interview, a ruling that was later upheld by the Court of Appeal.
The abuse of “the accused with hope” did not end when they got incarcerated through pretrial detention, but rather extended to include them on the lists of terrorism, in the application submitted by the Attorney General to the Criminal Court No. 1 of 2020 carried decisions (terrorist inclusion) regarding Case 571 of 2020 State Security Inventory, which was challenged. But, the Court of cassation upheld the decision to include El Elaimy and his colleagues on the lists of terrorists, for a period of 5 years. This listing is in accordance with the law regulating the lists of terrorist entities and terrorists. There are significant consequences for listing on the terrorist lists, such as the reservation of funds, travel bans, and the loss of the condition of good reputation and conduct necessary to assume jobs and public, parliamentary or local positions among others.
The decision to support the inclusion of El Elaimy and his companions was shocking to the human rights and legal circles, as they were not used to the involvement of the Court of Cassation – as the highest judicial body in the country – in political conflicts and its biased application of the law. In addition to the fact that it was issued days after a number of United Nations experts in the field of human rights urged the Egyptian authorities to erase the names of human rights defenders from the “terrorism” list and stop what they described as the systematic misuse of counter-terrorism authorities.
The decision to detain was not the last concerning the Amal “hope’’ detainees, as their lawyers were surprised on Wednesday by the State Security Prosecution informing them of the referral of a group of them, namely (Ziyad El Elaimy, Hisham Fouad, Hussam Mounis, Hussam Nasser Kamel, Muhammad Bahnasy Massad, and Fatima Ramadan) in Case No. 957 of the year 2021 Old Egypt misdemeanour, state security emergency, after a group of them were imprisoned for more than two years – which is the maximum period of pre-trial detention according to Egyptian law .
The prosecution charged them with committing crimes of association with a group established in violation of the provisions of the law with the purpose of calling for the suspension of the provisions of the constitution and laws, preventing state institutions and public authorities from carrying out their work, and deliberately publishing false news, information and statements about the political and economic conditions in the country with the intent of disturbing public peace and undermining confidence in state institutions.
It is noteworthy to mention that the Emergency State Security Misdemeanors Court is an exceptional court set up in all circuits to consider cases related to the emergency law imposed in Egypt. This court is headed by the partial misdemeanour judge, and the judgments issued by it are not subject to appeal, whether by appeal or before the Court of Cassation to consider them. Judgements are final after ratification, which contradicts the Egyptian constitutional approach, which is litigation at two levels and the general principle of the accused’s right to appear before a judge.
The trial of El Elaimy and his companions has been postponed until the end of this month on accusations, whatever the verdict is issued, will be final by an incompetent judge, as well as their continued inclusion on the terrorist lists, which deprives them of most of their political rights. We do not know a clear reason for harassing the Al-Amal group more than their name, which provoked all He who sees hope as an enemy.
On the other hand, in an unrelated context, the newspapers reported another news besides the decision to support the inclusion of Al-Amal detainees on the terrorist lists. The Central Bank of Egypt received a letter from the President of the Court of Appeal, the Head of the Seized Funds Department regarding the approval of the Public Prosecutor to end the effect of the ban on disposition No. 98 of the year 2020 on each of Alaa Mohamed Hosni Al-Sayed Mubarak, his wife Heidi Mohamed Magdy Rasekh and his minor son Omar, as well as lifting the seizure of the assets of Gamal Mohamed Hosni Al-Sayed Mubarak, his wife Khadija Mahmoud Yahya Al-Jamal, and his two minor sons Farida and Mahmoud, previously issued in connection with Case No. 70 of 2014 Money Laundering Limitation, restricted to No. 62 of 2012 Supreme State Security Survey. The events refer to the case of profiting from the sale of the National Bank of Egypt to the National Bank of Kuwait, known as the stock market manipulation case, and this is the only case that jailed Mubarak’s two sons more than once, after they were acquitted in most of the cases in which they were accused after the January 25th revolution, 2011. .
Continuing the policy of the executive authority’s use of the judiciary as means to achieve its purposes and continuing to use pretrial detention as a punishment instead of a precautionary measure to protect investigations has become a traditional procedure in Egypt and increases the judicial authority’s involvement in political matters, which has been warned about by DAAM centre.
- The Support Center strongly condemns the decision of the Court of Cassation to uphold the decision to include El Elaimyand his colleagues on the lists of terrorists for a period of 5 years. The Support Center also calls on the Attorney General and the Egyptian judicial authority to refrain from participating in political conflicts and to allow the executive authority to use them to strike opponents.
- DAAM Center calls for the immediate release of Ziyad El Elaimy and his fellow detainees, in the case of Al-Amal, whose imprisonment exceeded two years, which is the legal period consecrated for pretrial detention in Egyptian law.
- DAAM Center stresses the need to review the current Egyptian political system for its way of dealing with activists, especially in the current stability of the political authority. It must accept that the administration of states tolerates different political views that are protected by the constitution and the law and cannot continue to deal with them with a purely security logic, and to stop abusing and defaming activists and jurists and surveilliing the symbols of the great january revolution.
مُتاح أيضًا بـ: العربية (Arabic)