Egyptian Revolution Coalition rejects military tribunals for civilians

A day after strict decrees were issued against protesters in Tahrir Square, the Coalition of the Egyptian Revolution on Sunday rejected the armed forces' trial of civilians in military tribunals.

Egyptian military police on Wednesday broke up a sit-in by force in Tahrir Square, where protesters were demanding the dissolution of State Security and the abolition of the state of emergency that has been imposed since 1981.

Political activists said the Egyptian military court on Saturday issued prison sentences ranging between one and three years for arrested protesters, some of whom claimed they were tortured by army officers.

In a statement issued by the coalition, it said, "We are against referring civilians to military trials, be they thugs or revolutionaries, as we consider it a derogation from the civilian rights that the revolution succeeded in reclaiming.”

The statement added that "this country is experiencing a genuine democratic transition, whereby all citizens should have the right to freedom of expression by demonstration.”

Rights groups said the army referred many civilians to military courts in a purported attempt restore security following the withdrawal of police from the streets of most Egyptian cities on 28 January.

They also said military tribunals are hasty and lack the minimum standards of justice.

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