Saturday, July 19, 2008

HRW Statement on Mahalla detainees

Human Rights Watch issued a statement on the 18th of July, in which it urged the authorities to release six men held for more than 90 days, without charge. All arrested during April 6-7th in Mahalla. HRW is also asking the authorities not to go ahead with the case of The 49 that was reffered to the Supreme State Security Court, due to that specific instance´s shortcomings in fulfilling the requirements of a fair trial.

The Supreme State Security Court (Mahkamat Amn al-Dawla al-'Ulya) was established under Egypt’s Emergency Law in 1980 and follows procedures that violate internationally recognized fair trial norms. In violation of guarantees of the independence of the judiciary, two military judges may sit alongside the Security Court’s regular bench of three civilian judges.

It also asks the authorities to look in to allegations of torture toward Karim al Beheiri and Muhammed Marei.

" Not only has the government blatantly violated the right of workers to strike, it has refused to provide those arrested with basic due process rights...Nothing justifies torturing and indefinitely detaining protesters without charge. "
Sarah Leah Whitson, director of the Middle East and North Africa division at Human Rights Watch.

In the staement the Human Rights Watch provides a full list of the names of the six men detained for more than 90 days and the 49 referred to the Supreme State Security Court, the full statement can be found here.

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