OPINION: The West’s silence on Egypt’s assault on human rights

Behind closed doors

The justice systems in Britain and the US may not be perfect. But viewed from Egypt, the jurisprudence and transparency that attend the vast majority of trials there are very much to be envied.

In Cairo today, some 40 leading members of the Muslim Brotherhood are facing a secret military tribunal. Thirty sessions have been held so far, while all journalists, reporters and domestic or international human rights observers have been denied access. These members of the country’s most powerful political opposition – which holds about a fifth of the seats in Egypt’s parliament – stand before this tribunal despite civilian courts acquitting them four times of all charges brought by the notorious state security prosecutor, describing them as “fabricated, groundless, and politically motivated”.

They are standing before the tribunal despite a court ruling that found the president’s decision to transfer them to a military tribunal “unconstitutional”, on the basis that they are civilian opposition leaders who should be tried by civilian courts. The treatment of these representatives of the region’s largest Islamist movement, which advocates a moderate, peaceful approach, has been roundly condemned by international human rights organisations, including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch. [complete article]

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