Egypt: Victories of Civilians Against Military Trials

This post is part of our special coverage Egypt Revolution 2011.

Activists are pulling all the stops online – and on the ground – to draw attention to civilians put on trial in military courts, following the Egyptian revolution.

Following the group arrest of protesters on the night of the March 9 protest in Tahrir, a group of activists, journalists, and lawyers took upon themselves the task of reaching out to help all civilians prosecuted by military courts. They have declared it clearly that civilians should be tried in civilian courts.

In their blog they introduce themselves as follows:

We are a group of activists who lived everyday of the revolution and experienced the true ” Egypt” that was there in Tahrir square. We strongly condemn the violations the army commits towards civilians under the pretense of ” Protecting the country from thugs”. We demand an end to all military trials of civilians, and granting those who had been charged/sentenced a fair re trial in front of their natural civilian court.

When the initiative first started, very minimal support and attention were given to it, and it was important for people to know about the violations committed in military prisons. The group of No Military trials worked hard on arranging conferences, contacting people, and established a blog on which prisoners as well as their parents can provide their testimonies and expose their experience to let the world know the injustice they have been subjected to.

It has been over five months and the #NoMilTrials groups are still fighting enthusiastically and courageously to ensure Egyptians are tried fairly and with all their human rights intact.

Over the past few days, #NoMilTrials group started reaping the fruits of their hard work. A number of detainees have been released as well as all those who were detained during the 28th and 29th of June clashes in front of the Ministry of Interior:

Salma Abdel Gelil, one of the #NoMilTrials activists says:

القاضى العسكرى قال للضباط القضية دي مهللة و مفيهاش تحريات ولا إحراز ولا إثبات لكن برضه اداهم ٦شهور مع الإيقاف عشان الأوامر كده ‎#NoMilTrials
@Salma_Tweets: The Military Prosecutor told the officers: this case is flawed as there were no evidence or file reports provided. Nevertheless, they received suspended sentences of six months as per the given “orders”

Albeit this is a huge leap in the way for justice, yet lots of civilians are inside military prisons and have been away since the early days of the revolution like Amr El Beheiry:

Mona Seif who has been torn between her work and helping out the families and their imprisoned dependents says:

@Monasosh: The pressure on #SCAF seems 2 be paying off,lots of talk abt stopping use of military trials but no talk abt the thousands already in prison.

Meanwhile, an e-protest against military trials is being organised on Facebook tonight at 10pm (Cairo time). Activists are reaching out to internet users to comment on four Facebook pages during for one hour to voice their rejection to military trials for civilians. They are also urging Twitter users to tweet their objections under the hashtag #NoMilTrial

This post is part of our special coverage Egypt Revolution 2011.

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