October 30, 2011

"No military trials for civilians" group on arrest of Alaa Abd el Fattah


We, the Campaign End Military Trials of Civilians, condemn in the strongest possible terms the imprisonment of  prominent Egyptian activist and blogger, Alaa Abd el Fattah and the unjust and illegal system of military tribunals implemented by the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) since becoming rulers of Egypt on  January the 28th, 2011.

Today Alaa Abd El Fattah was summoned to the Military Prosecutor's office, accused of assaulting military personnel, stealing military weaponry and inciting violence against the military. On questioning, Abd El Fattah declined to answer the prosecutor’s questions, stating that it is illegal and a clear conflict of interest for the military, as a party accused of a crime, to hold proceedings or adjudicate fairly. He was sent to detention pending further military investigation.

As of today we refuse to co-operate with the military prosecution of civilians and we call on all Egyptian citizens to stand with us.

At least 12,000 Egyptian civilians have been subjected to summary, covert military trials. The accused are often denied counsel, the opportunity to review evidence or examine witnesses; there are limited avenues of  appeal. Eighteen death sentences have been handed down so far.

Abd El Fattah's targeting is only the latest example of the systematic targeting of journalists, media figures, bloggers and activists by SCAF.

Abd El Fattah is being held responsible for violence on October 9th, the night when the Army killed at least 28 peaceful protesters and injured several hundred more. Several respected human rights organisation have attested to this.

Furthermore, it is perverse that Mina Daniel is listed as the first name on the Military Prosecutor's list of the accused. Mina Daniel was killed by military gunfire on October 9th. Abd El Fattah is now being held for fifteen days in prison - which can be renewed indefinitely - by a body which has no legal authority to do so. Twenty eight more are in jail. Mina Daniel paid with his life.

We demand that Alaa Abd El Fattah be freed immediately, that military trials of civilians be stopped and all those sentenced thus far be released or at least retried before civilian courts. We support all of those who similarly refuse to recognize the legitimacy of the military prosecution.

This is not the new Egypt we have fought and died for.

For more information please visit: http://www.tahrirdiaries.org
or contact us : nomiltrials@gmail.com


October 16, 2011

Video proof: SCAF is lying about APC crushing protesters

Just a week ago to the day a peaceful march by Copts to Maspero, the State TV building in Cairo, turned bloody when military police attacked the demonstrators with sticks, guns and armored vehicles - leaving 26 Copts dead.

On Wednesday the SCAF gave a press conference in which lies were heaped high by the Generals Emara and Etman trying to hide the killing of peaceful Egyptians by their own army. Even though videos were already circulating on the internet showing how heavy armored vehicles - Army Personnel Carriers (APC) - were running over people, the SCAF strictly denied this saying first that the soldiers driving the APC were "clearly trying to avoid people" - later even going so far as to insinuate not soldiers were driving the APCs crushing protesters but possibly civilians. - No explanation of course was given how any civilian could have taken over a heavily armed and locked APC and why any civilian who should have managed to do that would run over his own fellow protesters and kill them.

The extent of lying to which the Generals of the SCAF are prepared to go to hide the guilt of this massacre is beyond belief.

Watch these four videos now on the internet to see how in the eyes of the SCAF General Emara the APC drivers were "clearly trying to avoid people". If ramming right into them by swerving to the side onto an island - or if ramming right into them by running them down heads on in full speed is "clearly trying to avoid people" - then we better not ask what deliberate attacks would look like. How they could be worse however remains one of the many secrets of the SCAF.

APC driving over island in middle of street crushing many protesters

Zigzagging trying to hit protesters - (and soldiers beating at protesters behind cars)

APC crushing protesters - shown from above

APC crushing protesters - shown from street

Ten people at least were crushed to death in these running over attacks with APCs. Their bodies with faces distorted beyond recognition were brought to the morgue of the Coptic hospital were autopsies were performed. On late Monday night they were honoured in a big funeral. Their families are traumatized and shocked over this loss.

The army - instead of admitting to the guilt - has taken the cases away from the General Prosecutor and announced that only they themselves would be allowed to hold any investigation in this matter. Anyone can see what that is leading to. - Justice? Truth? - Definitely not.

Let Egypt never forget these murders by soldiers against their own people and stop the lie that the army and the people are one hand. An army that kills the people it is supposed to protect betrays its country. And the SCAF will have to face accountability for all this. Their lying must be stopped once and for all.

May they never get away with this. Never. - Don't ever let them.

To the martyrs of Maspero - R.I.P.

October 12, 2011

The SCAF press conference on the Maspero massacre

Read this documentary of the SCAF press conference today on the massacre of demonstrating Copts at Maspero on Sunday. 25 protesters were killed by gunshots or crushed to death by armoured army vehicles deliberately running them over - as video footage proves.

No truth was to be expected from this press conference. And alas - no truth was presented. This press conference for long will remain in the memories of Egyptians as the worst hour of lying by the SCAF.

Read the documentary by activist tweeps

(Contributors: @acarvin, @alaa, @Amiralx, @cairowire, @Egyptocracy, @ElFoulio, @FarahSaafan, @Gsquare86, @hackneylad, @jmayton, @Linaattalah, @Manar_Ammar, @MattMcBradley, @mosaaberizing, @nadaskandar, @Nadiaglory, @nfm, @Omniaaldesoukie, @RawyaRageh, @Sarahcarr, @sharifkouddous, @simonjhanna, @Zeinobia)


General Etman does it again!

ahramonline, Tuesday 11 October 2001:
In a statement to the BBC, Major General Ismail Etman of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) has denied reports that military police used live ammunition during the Maspero clashes on Sunday.

Etman’s statement contradicts eyewitness accounts and primary autopsy reports that show protesters were killed by live ammunition.

A clever man once said: "I never trust statistics I haven't forged myself." To a certain degree you could think this was the attitude of the SCAF as well, because they clearly don't trust a truth they haven't fabricated themselves. And fabricate they do with all might.

When peaceful protesters were arrested at Tahrir on Feb 26 the army showed them on State TV shortly afterwards declaring them publicly to be "thugs".

When there was truly no evidence to thuggery from protesters arrested on March 9, the army brought in masses of weapons from its depot, laid them on a table, made protesters stand next to them and took photos to prove the protesters had been armed. Looking at the masses of weapons on the table, the protesters each would have had to drive a lorry across Tahrir to be able to have so many knifes and guns in their possession. (Hint to the army: If you fake, don't overdo it!).

When protesters where run over by the army and real thugs - (remember: "one hand" theory) - on April 9, rounds of ammo were shot to such an extent that one could hardly bear the sound when watching a video the next day, secretly taken from a balcony above Tahrir. Yet when the speaker of the SCAF had to respond to the protests against this, he found the invaluable words: "No shots were fired."

Watch this little jewel and learn what it means if the SCAF says, no shots were fired. (Caution: Please turn down the volume of your speakers or it will blast you away).

The fabrication of stories and the distortion of the truth seems to be a running thing in the SCAF family.

When the blogger Maikel Nabil was sentenced to three years prison with hard labor and a fine on April 10, none of his lawyers were present. For the court had told them and Nabil in the session that day that no verdict was going to be handed down and that the court was adjourned to April 12. When the lawyers arrived at court the next morning on other cases, they had to learn from the papers published there that Nabil had in fact been convicted on the evening of April 10 in his and the absence of all his lawyers. The lawyers protested strongly against this violation of judiciary conduct.

A few days later General Etman, speaker for the SCAF, had to answer questions in a talk show of ON TV. When asked about this violation, Gen. Etman never even flinched. "All lawyers were present when the verdict was handed down", Etman said and repeated it even after talk show host Yosri Fouda got visibly confused, knowing very well, that six independent lawyers had testified to the opposite. But "No shots were fired"-Etman stuck to his story come rain, come shine. Not only the talk show host was stunned at this performance.

It is not, that Gen. Etman is lying. Someone who lies is deliberately not telling you the truth. But that is not what Gen. Etman does. Etman does not not tell you the truth - instead he tells you a fictional story that has nothing to do with reality. He is like a man standing in front of a 10-story brick building waving his arms in excitement and telling you: "The SCAF has made all this into a nature reserve. No buildings, no obstructions. As you can see - only green meadows with butterflies and birds!" You'd look at the man and you wouldn't say he is lying. You would think instead: Get a doctor. Quick. The man needs help. And its urgent!

How someone who actually needs a doctor comes to speak for the SCAF and disclose a reality of meadows with trees and birds - when in fact and clearly for everyone but him to see he is standing in front of a 10-story brick building - is beyond comprehension. And is this not an insult to the intelligence of the army to let someone tell such fiction discrediting the army by this? Is Gen. Etman not in fact "offending the army" with this behavior and should the SCAF not therefore immediately have to be brought in front of the military prosecutor with three years jail sentence at least? - Well, from the logic of the SCAF, yes. To represent the army with such fabricated stories is nothing short of an "insult to the Armed Forces of Egypt".

But more so - and this the SCAF does not understand - it is an insult to the people of Egypt. Because clearly in letting Gen. Etman recount such fictional tales as reality the SCAF sends out the message that it deems the people of Egypt to be stupid enough to buy these stories, stupid enough to believe the tales of green meadows and birds and trees while everyone is in fact standing right in the middle of high-rise buildings. The only one who does not (want?) to see the buildings, is Gen. Etman and the SCAF. The people - take note - see the obstructions clearly. And nothing Gen. Etman can invent, will ever change that.


October 08, 2011

Britian and Germany demand release of blogger Maikel Nabil

Both the British and the German government have demanded from the Egyptian Supreme Council of Armed Forces (SCAF) the immediate release of blogger Maikel Nabil who has been on hunger strike for more than 40 days and is in serious danger of dying.

Nabil was arrested on March 28 and sentenced in absentia of both him and his lawyers to 3 years in prison for 'insulting the army' with a critical blogpost. He had truthfully reported on countless human rights abuses by the armed forces against unarmed protesters after the January 25 revolution. Nothing he wrote was not known and published on the internet before, but since Maikel Nabil had refused military service last year the army obviously wanted to get revenge. A gross violation of the principles of the Egyptian revolution that the SCAF pretends to protect and support.

On 4 October an appeal from Maikel Nabil's lawyers was to be heard in military court in Cairo. But although it was known that Nabil was in the state of dying from the hunger strike the session was adjourned by the military judge because files he needed had not been laid on his table by the administrative clerks of the court. Something neither Maikel Nabil nor his lawyers could be held accountable for. Already an unbelievable shame that such poor preparation of a vital court session was allowed to happen it was an ever bigger shame if not to say a crime to postpone the court session because of this in knowing that Maikel Nabil could die any day.

Both the British and German government have now urgently called on the Egyptian SCAF to release Maikel Nabil and allow him a fair trial in front of a civilian court, to which he is entitled.

Foreign Office Minister Alistair Burt MP said:

"I have serious concerns about the treatment of Maikel Nabil Sanad, an Egyptian blogger sentenced to three years imprisonment on 10 April by an Egyptian military court. Maikel Nabil Sanad has been on hunger strike since late August and his health is now deteriorating.

"We have raised concerns about Maikel Nabil Sanad’s treatment as well as the issue of trials of civilians in military courts and the continued State of Emergency with the Egyptian authorities. We continue to urge the Egyptian authorities to repeal the emergency law.

"Freedom of expression, including freedom of the media, is fundamental to building a democratic society and we will continue to follow the human rights situation in Egypt closely."

The spokesperson on human rights for the German government, Markus Löning, said:

"The news of the live endangering condition of jailed Egyptian blogger Maikel Nabil Sanad is seriously disturbing. In the name of the Federal Government I urge the authorities to suspend the jail sentence of Maikel Nabil immediately and to let a civilian court in a fair trial review the verdict handed down on 10 April by the military tribunal.
The large number of trials against protesters and activists in military tribunals is alarming and is not in accordance with the rule of law.
The Egyptians went to the streets to fight for dignity and democracy. All authorities are called upon to respect this and to do everything in their power to promote Egypt reaching its goal of a true democracy."

Amnesty international, Human Rights Watch and Reporters Without Borders have continuously called for the release of Maikel Nabil and have pointed out that the Egyptian SCAF carries the whole responsibility should Maikel Nabil Sanad die in prison from hunger strike. The SCAF so far has refrained from reacting to the worldwide appeals to stop this gross violation of human rights.

With the continued revenge they take on the blogger they once more prove that the principles of the Egyptian revolution, for which 850 Egyptians gave their life, obviously mean nothing to them. The US must seriously reconsider funding such human rights abuses annually with the amount of 1.3 billion Dollars  in military aid to a SCAF that clearly does not respect international humanitarian law.