Solidarity with the Egyptian Revolution: Free Alaa, Defend the Maspero Accused
We condemn the Egyptian authorities’ campaign of legal intimidation, torture and deadly violence against those who have continued to raise their voices and mobilise in the streets in support of the demands of the 25 January revolution: change, democracy and social justice.
We note with particular concern the following recent developments:
· The charges levelled at activists and participants in the peaceful protest at Maspero in Cairo on 9 October which was attacked by the army and gangs of thugs leading to the death of at least 26 people. Rather than investigating this crime, the military prosecutors have accused the victims of military aggression of assault, stealing weapons and inciting violence. Two prominent bloggers and activists, Alaa Abdelfattah and Bahaa Saber are among the accused and Alaa was detained on 30 October for refusing to co-operate with the military authorities. Mina Daniel, an activist who was shot dead by the military on 9 October is also named among the accused.
· The death under torture of Essam Ali Atta, who was serving a two-year prison sentence in Tora prison following a military trial earlier this year.
· The escalating campaign of harassment and intimidation directed at journalists and media workers who refuse to submit to military censorship.
· Increasing violence directed at protests and strikes by students and workers in support of their social and political demands.
To date at least 12,000 Egyptian civilians have been subjected to covert military trials. Military courts are fundamentally unfair; the accused are often denied counsel, the opportunity to review evidence or examine witnesses; they have limited avenues of appeal. Eighteen death sentences have been handed down so far.
We declare our solidarity with the calls by Egyptian activists, trade unionists, human rights organisations and political groups for:
1. An end to military trials of civilians
2. Independent and impartial investigations into the events of 9 October and other events that have resulted in the death and disappearance of civilians, such as the attacks on peaceful demonstrators on 9 April in Tahrir Square, on 23 July in Abbaseyya and on 9 September in front of the Israeli Embassy;
3. The immediate release of blogger and activist Alaa Abdelfattah and the 28 other detainees implicated in the Maspiro events;
4. The immediate lifting of the state of emergency in place in Egypt since 1981.
5. Respect by the Egyptian civilian and military authorities for the rights of Egyptian citizens to freedom of expression, to join and build political organisations and trade unions, and to take part in protests, strikes and demonstrations.
See further signatures here: http://menasolidaritynetwork.com/2011/11/02/egypt-solidarity-with-alaa-and-the-maspero-accused/