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Back Activities Alerts Action Alert: Egypt – Emergency Court sentences political opponents to five years

Action Alert: Egypt – Emergency Court sentences political opponents to five years

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Senior MB mebers receive unjust conviction in the so called "international networking case".

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Islamic Human Rights Commission
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14 January 2011

Action Alert: Egypt – Emergency Court sentences political opponents to five years

Contents
1. Summary
2. Background
3. Action required
4. Sample letter


1. Summary

Five senior political opponents from the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) have been unjustly convicted of fabricated charges including money laundering and raising funds for the activities of the MB in the so called “international networking case”. The governmental unit which investigates Money Laundering in the Central Accountancy Agency stated that there was no evidence of any money laundering. Despite this they received sentences ranging between three to five years by the Supreme State Security Court, whose rulings cannot be appealed.

This group has been previously acquitted twice for lack of evidence from the Civil Court in the same case where over 30 other MB members were released.

The MB leaders vow to take their case to the International Court of Justice.


2. Background

On January 8, 2011 the Supreme State Security Emergency Court issued verdicts against 5 senior members of the Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt’s leading opposition party.

The defendants have had charges bought against them in a previous case also called the ‘International network’ case, but these charges were dropped and all the defendants were released. However, six months later the case was re- opened. The governmental unit which investigates Money Laundering in the Central Accountancy Agency stressed that all funds are clear and there is no evidence of money laundering.

The defendants include: Assistant Secretary-General of the Egyptian Medical Syndicate Dr. Ashraf Abdel Ghaffar, Egyptian Islamic preacher Wagdy Ghoneim in Yemen, Dr. Ibrahim Munir Mustafa, businessman Dr. Osama Mohamed Suleiman and Saudi Arabian preacher Awad Mohamed al-Qarni. Dr. Soliman is the only defendant in Egypt and he is currently serving a three years sentence while the other four received five years in absentia. The court also confiscated money from his money exchange company, issued a fine and froze all his assets. Dr. Soliman suffers from many health problems and uses a wheelchair.

Dr. Abdel Ghaffar told IHRC: “The state security failed to accuse us through the normal court; they arranged for a state security court to replace the normal one to achieve their goals where we cannot even appeal against its decision or question it. However, we will fight these decisions in the European courts and work with the human rights commissions.”

Dr. Ghoneim also commented on the sentence saying: “The court is incompetent and has no jurisdiction to pass any sentence on me. We were raising donations for the group, that’s all. And the security services of the countries from which we collect those donations would have arrested us had we been doing anything wrong."

IHRC condemns the continued exercising of the abhorred 'emergency law' which is a clear breach to the provisions of law and constitution and will lead to more chaos, disorder and injustice in Egypt.
IHRC calls for the retrial of the five MB members before a civil court. Egypt must also cease referring opposition figures to exceptional courts formed under the Emergency Law and to preserve all their legal rights to challenge and appeal their verdicts before a higher court.

IHRC urges its campaigners to write letters to the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention and the UN Special Rapporteur on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms while Countering Terrorism requesting them to urge the Egyptian government to refer the case “international network” to a civilian court and to ensure the defendants right to a fair trial as well as an investigation into the use of Emergency law.

For further information on the case please visit the following links:

Update Alert: Egypt – State Security Emergency Courts to try MB members in absentia

Action Alert: Egypt –Referral of 5 Muslim Brotherhood activists to Emergency State Security Court

3. Action required

IHRC urges it campaigners to write to:

a)  The UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention

b) Mr. Martin Scheinin, the UN Special Rapporteur on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms while Countering Terrorism


4. Sample letter
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A sample letter is given below for your convenience. Please note that model letters can be sent directly or adjusted as necessary to include further details. If you receive a reply to the letter you send, we request you to send a copy of the letter you sent and the reply you received to IHRC. This is very important as it helps IHRC to monitor the situation with regards to our campaigns and to improve upon the current model letters. It is preferable that letters be sent via post, or otherwise by fax and/or email.

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a) (Campaigners can write using the address supplied below, Fax: +41 22 9179006 or e-mail: wgad@ohchr.org)

[Your name]
[Your address]

[Date]

Working Group on Arbitrary Detention
c/o Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights
United Nations Office at Geneva
8-14, avenue de la Paix
1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland

Dear Mr. Malick El Hadji Sow,

Re: Egyptian State Security Court sentences MB members to 5 years in a new application of the Emergency law
I am deeply concerned over the continued use of Emergency law and human rights violations of the political opposition by the Egyptian government through an incompetent state security court.

On January 8, 2011 the Supreme State Security Emergency Court issued verdicts against 5 senior members of the Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt’s leading opposition party.

The defendants have had charges bought against them in a previous case also called the ‘International network’ case, but these charges were dropped and all the defendants were released. However, six months later the case was re- opened. The governmental unit which investigates Money Laundering in the Central Accountancy Agency stressed that all funds are clear and there is no evidence of money laundering.

The defendants include: Assistant Secretary-General of the Egyptian Medical Syndicate Dr. Ashraf Abdel Ghaffar, Egyptian Islamic preacher Wagdy Ghoneim in Yemen, Dr. Ibrahim Munir Mustafa, businessman Dr. Osama Mohamed Suleiman and Saudi Arabian preacher Awad Mohamed al-Qarni. Dr. Soliman is the only defendant in Egypt and he is currently serving a three years sentence while the other four received five years in absentia. The court also confiscated money from his money exchange company, issued a fine and froze all his assets. Dr. Soliman suffers from many health problems and uses a wheelchair.

I ask you to call for the retrial of the five MB members before a civil court. Egypt must also cease referring opposition figures to exceptional courts formed under the Emergency Law and to preserve all their legal rights to challenge and appeal their verdicts before a higher court.

I request you to bring the case up in the UN Human Rights Council along with the use of Emergency Law. Immediate action needs to be taken to investigate the current injustices being faced by members of the opposition.

Please urge the Egyptian government to respect the international human rights standards and the international covenants ratified by the Egyptian government which became part and parcel of its domestic law in accordance with Article 151 of the Egyptian Constitution.

Looking forward to hearing from you soon about this urgent matter.

Yours sincerely,


[Your signature]
[Your name]

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b) (Campaigners can write using the address supplied below, Fax: +41 22 917 90 06 or email: urgent-action@ohchr.org )

[Your name]
[Your address]

[Date]

Mr. Martin Scheinin,
UN Special Rapporteur on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms while Countering Terrorism
OHCHR-UNOG
8-14 Avenue de la Paix
1211 Geneva 10
Switzerland

Dear Mr. Scheinin,

Re: Egyptian State Security Court sentences MB members to 5 years in a new application of the Emergency law
I am deeply concerned over the continued use of Emergency law and human rights violations of the political opposition by the Egyptian government through an incompetent state security court.

On January 8, 2011 the Supreme State Security Emergency Court issued verdicts against 5 senior members of the Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt’s leading opposition party.

The defendants have had charges bought against them in a previous case also called the ‘International network’ case, but these charges were dropped and all the defendants were released. However, six months later the case was re- opened. The governmental unit which investigates Money Laundering in the Central Accountancy Agency stressed that all funds are clear and there is no evidence of money laundering.

The defendants include: Assistant Secretary-General of the Egyptian Medical Syndicate Dr. Ashraf Abdel Ghaffar, Egyptian Islamic preacher Wagdy Ghoneim in Yemen, Dr. Ibrahim Munir Mustafa, businessman Dr. Osama Mohamed Suleiman and Saudi Arabian preacher Awad Mohamed al-Qarni. Dr. Soliman is the only defendant in Egypt and he is currently serving a three years sentence while the other four received five years in absentia. The court also confiscated money from his money exchange company, issued a fine and froze all his assets. Dr. Soliman suffers from many health problems and uses a wheelchair.

I ask you to call for the retrial of the five MB members before a civil court. Egypt must also cease referring opposition figures to exceptional courts formed under the Emergency Law and to preserve all their legal rights to challenge and appeal their verdicts before a higher court.

I request you to bring the case up in the UN Human Rights Council along with the use of Emergency Law. Immediate action needs to be taken to investigate the current injustices being faced by members of the opposition.

Please urge the Egyptian government to respect the international human rights standards and the international covenants ratified by the Egyptian government which became part and parcel of its domestic law in accordance with Article 151 of the Egyptian Constitution.

Looking forward to hearing from you soon about this urgent matter.

Yours sincerely,


[Your signature]
[Your name]

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For more information, please contact the office on the numbers or email below

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For more information, please contact the office on the numbers or email below.

"And what reason have you that you should not fight in the way of Allah and of the weak among the men and the women and the children, (of) those who say: Our Lord! Cause us to go forth from this town, whose people are oppressors, and give us from Thee a guardian and give us from Thee a helper."
Holy Qur'an: Chapter 4, Verse 75

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