Update Alert: Egypt – Supreme Council of Armed Forces must free all political prisoners post Mubarak

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1. Summary
2. Background

1. Summary

The Islamic Human Rights Commission (IHRC) congratulates the Egyptian people on the achievement of their first demand, which was Mubarak’s departure on the 11th of February 2011, after 30 long years of oppressive rule under emergency law.

The Supreme Council of Armed Forces (SCAF) will be governing the country for the next 6 months whilst a new government is being formed.

IHRC urges the Supreme Council of Armed Forces to free all political prisoners and those who were arrested during the protests.

2. Background

The revolution of 25 January 2011 has so far been a success with the resignation of Hosni Mubarak. However 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.

These are just a few examples of the scores of political prisoners which have been imprisoned for years with unsubstantiated charges or fair trials. In order for the formation of the new government to be representative of the Egyptian people, the participation of political prisoners is vital. Without their input then any future government will lack legitimacy.

The Supreme Council of Armed Forces need to release all political prisoners, so that Egypt is given the freedom to choose their government, a choice which hundreds have given their life for in recent protests.


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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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Islamic Human Rights Commission
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