Press Release: Khairat Al-Shater Sentenced to Seven Years in Prison

Islamic Human Rights Commission

15 April 2008

Press Release: Khairat Al-Shater Sentenced to Seven Years in Prison

IHRC condemns in the strongest terms the final verdict of the Muslim Brotherhood military trial which has been announced today, 15 April 2008.

Khairat Al-Shater, deputy to the supreme guide of MB, has been handed down a seven year sentence. Prominent business man, Hassen Malek was also sentenced to seven years in prison. Five defendants who were being tried in absentia have been given 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.

IHRC is deeply saddened at the blatant disregard of justice and human right values that has been demonstrated by the current Egyptian regime throughout this military trial. Mr Al-Shater and the other detained MB leaders, known in the Egyptian society for their good standing and reputable position, were arrested and 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 peacefully express their political views and interests.

Egypt has a proven poor human rights record and has shown complete disregard of its international treaties such as the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR).

IHRC believes that these unjust practices adopted by the Egyptian government against MB leaders and members are a deliberate attempt to stamp down on any opposition to the regime and to halt the democratic process.

IHRC calls upon the Egyptian government to immediately release all the detained MB members, who have been sentenced today, and to ensure that their right to freedom of expression and association is fully respected.

For more information please contact the Press Office on (+44) 20 8904 4222 or (+44) 7958 607 475 email[ENDS]

The Islamic Human Rights Commission is an NGO in special consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council.

Islamic Human Rights Commission
PO Box 598
United Kingdom

Telephone (+44) 20 8904 4222
Fax (+44) 20 8904 5183

IHRC is an NGO in Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations.