Urgent Alert: Khairat Al-Shater Sentenced to Seven Years in Prison

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Islamic Human Rights Commission
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15 April 2008

Urgent Alert: Khairat Al-Shater Sentenced to Seven Years in Prison

1. Background

The final verdict for the Muslim Brotherhood military trial has been announced today. Khairat Al-Shater, deputy to the supreme guide of MB has been handed down a seven year sentence. A prominent business man, Hassen Malek was also sentenced to seven years in prison. Five defendants who were being tried in absentia have been handed down ten years each. Other detainees, including Dr Mohamed Ali Bishr, have been sentenced to prison terms of three and five years.

15 other defendants have been acquitted, including prominent MB figure, Abdul-Rahman Saudi and university professor Abdul-Qader Auda.

The MB defence team is holding a press conference to comment on the excessive jail terms. Meanwhile family members and supporters stage protests to condemn the unjust verdict.

According to the MB official website, around 200 supporters were arrested today, 15 April 2008, including family members and media personnel.

Khairat Al-Shater and the rest of defendants were arrested more than a year ago following student member demonstrations, and were tried in a military trial even after a civilian court in Egypt found them innocent of the trumped-up charges levied against them. Regardless of being know for their good standing and reputable position in the Egyptian society, many of these detainees have now been handed down prison terms for something they have not done.

IHRC requests all campaigners to email/fax the respective authorities mentioned below and protest against this outrageous verdict against innocent civilians.

For further details, please visit https://www.ihrc.org.uk/show.php?id=3313

To download the Prisoners of Faith campaign pack on Khairat Al-Shater, please visit https://www.ihrc.org.uk/show.php?id=2652

3. Action Required

a. Write to the Foreign Minister in your country and appeal against the unjust prison terms handed down to Khairat Al-Shater and the other MB defendants.

UK campaigners can write to:

Rt. Hon. David Miliband MP
Foreign & Commonwealth Office
King Charles Street
London
SW1A 2AH

Fax: +44 0207 839 2417
Email: private.office@fco.gov.uk

b. Write to the Egyptian Ambassador in your country and appeal against the unjust prison terms handed down to Khairat Al-Shater and the other MB defendants.

UK campaigners can write to:

HE Mr Gehad Refaat Madi
Embassy of the Arab Republic of Egypt
26 South Street
London W1K 1DW

Fax: +44 20 7491 1542
Email: eg.emb_london@mfa.gov.eg

4. Sample Letters

Sample letters are given below for your convenience

Sample letters are 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 extremely important as it helps IHRC to monitor the situation with regards to our campaigns and to improve upon the current model letters.

a. Sample Letter to Foreign Minister in Your Country

[Your Name]

[Your Address]

[Date]

Dear [Recipient’s Name],

Re: Unjust prison terms for Khairat Al-Shater and other Muslim Brotherhood defendants

I am deeply concerned about the unjust prison term of seven years which has been given to Khairat Al-Shater, third-in-command at Muslim Brotherhood (MB), in the trial verdict announced on 15 April 2008 in Egypt. Several of his co-defendants have also been sentenced to prison terms of between three to ten years.

I am shocked at this blatant disregard of justice and human right values that has been demonstrated by the current Egyptian regime with regards to MB political activists in the past year. Mr Al-Shater and the other detained MB leaders, known in the Egyptian society for their good standing and reputable position, were arrested over accusations which they completely denied and denounced. They were subjected to trumped-up charges of terrorism, money-laundering and financing a banned organization with little or no evidence to substantiate these claims. This is evident from the fact that a civilian court absolved them of all charges, declared them to be innocent and ordered their release. However, they were re-arrested to be tried in a military court for non—military related charges. Their financial assets were ordered to be frozen. Many injustices and breaches of international human rights standards were reported throughout this trial.

Now, after spending over a year in prison, these innocent civilians have been given prison sentences for no apparent reason other than the fact that they used their right to freedom of speech and freedom of association to denounce the unjust practices of the current Egyptian government.

I am deeply saddened by the lack of response shown by international quarters in pressurizing the Egyptian government to halt its brutal crackdown against peaceful political activists.

I urge you to pressurize the Egyptian government to immediately release all the MB detainees that have been handed down prison terms and allow them their right to peacefully express their political opinions and interests.

I look forward to an early reply.

Yours sincerely

[Your Signature]
[Your Name]

b. Sample Letter to Egyptian Ambassador to Your Country

[Your Name]

[Your Address]

[Date]

Dear [Recipient’s Name],

Re: Unjust prison terms for Khairat Al-Shater and other Muslim Brotherhood defendants

I am deeply concerned about the unjust prison term of seven years which has been given to Khairat Al-Shater, third-in-command at Muslim Brotherhood (MB), in the trial verdict announced on 15 April 2008 in Egypt. Several of his co-defendants have also been sentenced to prison terms of between three to ten years.

I am shocked at this blatant disregard of justice and human right values that has been demonstrated by your country with regards to MB political activists in the past year. Mr Al-Shater and the other detained MB leaders, known in the Egyptian society for their good standing and reputable position, were arrested over accusations which they completely denied and denounced. They were subjected to trumped-up charges of terrorism, money-laundering and financing a banned organization with little or no evidence to substantiate these claims. This is evident from the fact that a civilian court absolved them of all charges, declared them to be innocent and ordered their release. However, they were re-arrested to be tried in a military court for non—military related charges. Their financial assets were ordered to be frozen. Many injustices and breaches of international human rights standards were reported throughout this trial.

Now, after spending over a year in prison, these innocent civilians have been given prison sentences for no apparent reason other than the fact that they used their right to freedom of speech and freedom of association to denounce the unjust practices of the current Egyptian government.

Your country is a state party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), and is obliged to provide freedom of expression and association to its civilians and uphold the rights of the detainees. Yet, in this case Egypt has sadly shown complete disregard for its international covenants.

I urge you to ensure that all MB detainees, who have been handed down prison terms, are immediately released and are allowed their right to peacefully express their political opinions and interests.

I look forward to an early reply.

Yours sincerely

[Your Signature]
[Your Name]

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