Action Alert: Egypt – IHRC calls for the release of all political prisoners

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IHRC urges all campaigners to write to the UK Foreign Secretary, calling for the release of all political prisoners in egypt.


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


1. Summary


Political opposition has been subject to many injustices by the regime because of the Emergency law. Significant proportions have been detained without charge for many years.

Although criminals have been released in the wake of the current revolution in order to attack the peaceful protestors, political prisoners are kept in total isolation and denied visitations.

IHRC urges all campaigners to write to William Hague, UK Foreign Secretary, calling for the release of all political prisoners detained during Murabak’s era.



2. Background

If Hosni Mubarak is serious about change and reform then the least that must be done is the release of all political prisoners. A large number of prominent political figures, intellectuals, bloggers and journalists have been arrested and detained for years under Emergency Law without charge or trial.

Khairat Al-Shater, Deputy Chairman of the Muslim Brotherhood (MB), has spent a total number of 12 years in Egyptian prisons. He was excluded from the presidential pardon along with other MB leaders despite completing half their sentence (which in Egyptian law would make them eligible for Presidential pardon).

In January 2011, the State Security Court ruled against five prominent members of the MB in the “International Networking” case. They were sentenced to five years, despite their acquittal by the Civil Criminal Court. Dr. Osama Soliman, the only defendant who was present in Egypt during the case is currently detained in a hospital due to his deteriorating health. MB leaders are often referred to Military courts and State Security Emergency Courts after the civil courts acquits them from all charges. These courts operate under the Emergency law which allows the arrest of anyone without trial.

IHRC calls for the immediate release of all political prisoners and an end to the use of Emergency law which does not allow appeals to a higher court.



3. Action required

Write to William Hague and the foreign minister in your country, urging him to take every possible action to ensure the immediate release of all political prisoners.

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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Write to the Minister of foreign affairs in your country. (UK campaigners can write using the address supplied below, fax: +44 (0)207839 2417 or email: private.office@fco.gov.uk)

[Your name]
[Your address]

[Date]

Rt. Hon. William Hague
Foreign & Commonwealth Office
King Charles Street
London, SW1A 2AH, UK

Dear Mr Hague,


Re: Egypt – The release of political prisoners

Political opposition has been subject to many injustices by the regime under the use of Emergency law. Significant proportions have been detained without charge for many years. Although criminals have been released in the wake of the current revolution in order to attack the peaceful protestors, political prisoners are kept in total isolation and denied visitations.

If Hosni Mubarak is serious about change and reform then the least that must be done is the release of all political prisoners. A large number of prominent political figures, intellectuals, bloggers and journalists have been arrested and detained for many years under Emergency Law without charge or trial.

In January 2011, the State Security Court ruled against five prominent members of the Muslim Brotherhood in the “International Networking” case. They were sentenced to five years, despite their acquittal by the Civil Criminal Court. Dr. Osama Soliman, the only defendant who was present in Egypt during the case is currently detained in a hospital due to his deteriorating health. MB leaders are often referred to Military courts and State Security Emergency Courts after the civil courts acquits them from all charges. These courts operate under the Emergency law which allows the arrest of anyone without trial.

The British government has had very good relations with Mubarak’s oppressive government and this has inevitably caused much embarrassment. In order for the British government to salvage its reputation from such embarrassment, it must call for the release of all political prisoners. Only with the release of all political prisoners and their involvement in forming a new government can true freedom be achieved for the Egyptian people.


I look forward to your reply regarding 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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"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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