‘No to Military Trials’ urges constitutional committee to consider its proposals

“No to Military Trials” has asked the constitutional committee to take into consideration certain proposals concerning the role of the military judiciary which ensure civilians will not stand before military trials.

In a statement issued on Thursday, it said that, "Hopes are high these days among broad sectors of the Egyptian people, and the victims of military trials in particular, after the recent transformation of the country, the ouster of Mohamed Morsy from the presidency, and the appointment of Adly Mansour as interim president for a second transitional period in Egypt."

The statement referred to the constitutional declaration issued by Mansour on 8 July and specifically to article 28, which concerns the formation of an expert committee to review the articles of the suspended 2012 constitution and to amend them if necessary.

In its statement, No to Military Trials called for putting an end to the oppression Egyptians have been subjected to.  It wants to prevent the violation of people's rights by oppressive, exceptional military trials before military courts. It called for the adoption of its proposals for the new constitution, which advocate for keeping Article 75 of the suspended 2012 constitution intact.

The statement called for amending the first two paragraphs of Article 198 of the 2012 constitution to "The military judiciary is an independent judicial entity whose jurisdiction is to rule in all military crimes concerning the Armed Forces, its officers, and personnel where the two parties in the conflict belong to the military.

Civilians are not to be tried before the military judiciary and the law determines its other areas of jurisdiction. Members of the military judiciary are independent and cannot be dismissed from their positions. They also enjoy all the guarantees, rights, and privileges awarded to judicial entities."

The statement also called for the inclusion of an article for "transitional justice" in the constitution to ensure civilian victims of military trials benefit from transitional justice, with those who violated their rights being held accountable. The statement also called for compensating the victims.

The group said that thousands of Egyptians suffered as a result of military trials under former President Hosni Mubarak, as well as after the 25 January revolution and under the rule of the Supreme Council of the Armed, and even under ousted President Mohamed Morsy.

The group added that Egyptians are continuing to suffer because Article 19 of the recent constitutional declaration gives the Armed Forces absolute power without any restraints to ensure civilians are not referred to military courts. The statement also said that several Morsy supporters were sentenced by military courts to two years in prison.

The statement added that nothing can justify the violation of Egyptians' rights and the undermining of the goals of the revolution.

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