Friday, February 17, 2006

Egypt judges' Immunity lifted Over Confronting Government For Independence

The following is a story reported by the Middle East Online in Arabic by Mona Salem. This is my translation from Arabic into English. It is an attempt to let non-Egyptians understand what I call the true battle for democracy and freedom in Egypt. The continuous attempts to depict the Muslim Brotherhood as Egypt's opposition is a big lie. That only helps them build a profile. Regrettably all media outlets are helping them. I would like here to bring a different voice from Egypt. I want to say that supporting Egypt's judges battle for free independent Judiciary is much more important than stumbling in the business of polishing the Muslim Brotherhood's profile, a group that grew in the shadow of the government that is giving them lots of facilities depsite the fact that they are banned. They will continue to be strengthened as long as freedom and democracy are absent from the political life in Egypt. There is a dire need to give attention to the fight and battle of those brave judges.

Egypt’s Judges are preparing for a Clash with the State in defense of Freedom.
The Egyptian Judiciary leads a Defense Movement for Judiciary’s Freedom and Independence.

In a new escalation to test the emerging power of the Egyptian Judges who became the forefront movement asking for democratic reform in Egypt, four senior judges, from the leaderships, were referred to criminal interrogation. However, they confirmed they will not retreat or withdraw their demands even if that necessitates “a clash with the state”. The judges started their struggle one year ago, following the constitutional amendment to the article 76.

An official source for the Higher Council for Judiciary said on Thursday that the four judges are Ahmed Mekky, Mahmoud Mekky, Hesham Al Bastaouesy and Mahmoud Reda Al Khoudery. The four of them are members of Egypt’s Supreme Court. Their judiciary immunity was lifted and they will be interrogated before the supreme state security public prosecution.

Judge Mohamed Sedeq Borham accused judges Ahmed Mekky, Mahmoud Mekky and Heham Bastawersy of leaking information to the press saying that Borham is involved in rigging the elections’ results in one of the constituencies during the legislative elections.

The papers Afaq Arabia (Arab Horizons in English), which has close ties with the Muslim Brotherhood and Sout Al Umma, an independent paper, published the “black list for the rigging judges during elections”. Sources of the list were attributed to the Egyptian Lawyers’ Syndicate.

Interrogation will take place with the elected chairman of the Egyptian Judges club in Alexandria upon a report to the General Attorney following rigging incidents in the controversial Damnhour constituency during the legislative elections last November and December.

The escalation against the judges came at the eve of a protest organized by the Judges Club in its Alexandria branch against the government’s bypassing to the judiciary independence bill which should lessen the interference of the state executive body in the judiciary affairs, while accusing the government of trying to pass a cooked bill that the judges consider a worse version of the current law.

The judges reiterated that the independence of judiciary is the only guarantee to carry on free democratic election and to empower the Egyptian people to express their will in freedom.

Counselor Ahmed Mekky said that they will continue their march, even if that necessitated a clash with the state, because he believes that their goals are a necessity especially in the coming stage that will include important political and electoral developments that cannot take place without a law that ensure the judiciary independence.

Mekky said that the Emergency State that has been renewed continuously since 25 years will expire on May 31 this year and according to President Mubarak’s electoral platform the emergency state should end. However, it is expected that the state will replace the emergency law with procedures taken by the general prosecution to terrorize and detain the citizens that follow the articles of the emergency law. He added this means that the current government-affiliated general prosecution will replace the security authorities, something which he described as totally unacceptable for the Egyptian judiciary and its history.

Mekky said the coming period will also include constitutional amendments and plebiscite on these amendments as well as the Shura Council elections next year, adding that if the judiciary is not independent, elections rigging and fraud will continue as seen in the last elections.

He said that this government escalation is targeting all judges in an attempt to abort their protest organized for Friday to assert the importance of issuing a law that could ensure the Judiciary independence, interrogation in incidents of attacking voters and judges during elections and investigation of the rigging crimes of the elections results.

Mahmoud Mekky expected that this escalation with have a reverse reaction among judges. He said that referring him and his colleagues to interrogation came as a punishment and revenge because they were talking to the mass media revealing the violations that happened during the legislative elections.

Hesham Al Bastawesy said the escalation is meant to silence us so that the government will be able to pass the bill the government has prepared to kill every authority or power the judiciary has now, adding we will not stop asking for the rights of the Egyptian people to true reform and democracy and full independence of the judiciary that ensure the human rights in Egypt.

Mahmoud Mekky said that Judges Club will discuss in the emergency General Assembly that will be held March 17 the practical procedures that will be taken to confront the government’s insistence on manipulating the judges’ demands because verbal statements are no longer effective.

On December 15 2005 during the Judges’ Club elections, all government nominees failed to secure any vote. The entire Judiciary independence list won seats of the 15 member board.

This is a seious development but expected because the current regime of Egypt is trying to weaken any opposition.

I was calling in my previous blog post for supporting the judges now I think I will call for their protection! Other Ayman Nour cases are on the way , this is so frightening.

If you want to know more about the Egyptian judges battle with the regime read my previous posts below, I have followed their battle since the beginning.

Denmark Cartoons absent Real Democracy Battle in Egypt
Egyptian Rigged Elections into International Investigation
Is this the Promised Democracy?
Growing tension between the Egyptian regime and the Judges....
Referendum of May 25: Great Forgery Day


At 8:30 PM, Anonymous Amr Abbas said...

Thanks for bringing this up. It seems that the regime is taking advantage from the current retreat from democracy spread in the ME policy due to fears from the rise of the islamists and is punishing its opponents. These judges are not only judges, they are holding the most senior judicial posts in the country. This is meant to scare the rest of judges. Judges were attacked physically and otherwise during the past elections and this seems like a start to a new judicial slaughter....

At 10:30 PM, Blogger Gateway Pundit said...

FFE- Did you see...

Your work is famous!

At 11:30 PM, Blogger Freedom for Egyptians said...

Amr Abbas,

I think it is going to be bloody with the judges. This is just the first sign. I am going to write a lengthy report on this disturbing news.


Yes, my work is famous and it is true I am the maker of this story but this link is not giving the credit for my original work which shows how shallow can the press get when looking for real sources!

At 6:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The latest developments spell ill for the last bastion of Egypt's democratic control indeed. The Egyptians judges are not a homogenous group either totally rejecting nor completely adherent to the regime. The whole story might actually have been induced by the tensions between the two schools of thought in and outside the Judges Club. This fight would of course be a perfect excuse for the regime to settle some old scores. Another proof that the regime owns the entire system...


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