Egypt’s ruling military council has launched a co-ordinated assault against the democratic gains made as a result of the mass protests and strikes since the beginning of the revolution in January 2011. A decision of the Higher Constitutional Court ruled that Ahmad Shafiq, candidate of the old regime and Mubarak’s last prime minister could stand in the presidential elections on 16/17 June and dissolved the parliament.
The court decision followed the announcement of a law on 13 June 2012 giving military intelligence and police permission to arrest civilians on suspicion of “crimes and misdemeanours harmful to the government,” “resisting orders issued by those in power or assaulting them,” “destruction of public property or historic monuments,” “obstructing traffic,” “strikes at institutions that serve the public interest or assaulting the right to work,” and “intimidation and thuggery.”
Egyptian revolutionary groups and human rights organisations denounced the decision.
“Instead of investigating the serious abuses committed by military officers and soldiers against protesters and others since January 2011, Egypt’s authorities are giving them carte blanche to arrest and detain civilians,” said Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, Deputy Middle East and North Africa Programme Director at Amnesty International.
“We urge the authorities to rescind this decision, which has dangerous and pervasive ramifications for the rule of law in Egypt, but also in the short term with run-off presidential elections just days away.”
“That the Minister of Justice could now give an army responsible for killing, torture, and thousands of arbitrary arrests and unfair trials the power to arrest and detain civilians beggars belief. It is nothing less than legally sanctioning abuse.”
Enjy Hamdy from the 6 April Youth Group told Egyptian newspaper Ahram Online: “Where are the rights of the 30 million voters who participated in the parliamentary elections, only to see parliament dissolved and their rights ignored?”
Then on 17 June, the Military Council announced additions to the Constitutional Declaration of March 2011 which gives the generals virtually unlimited powers at the expense of the elected president.
Tens of thousands protested in Tahrir Square on 19 June against the military coup in demonstrations backed by a wide range of groups, from the Muslim Brotherhood to revolutionary youth groups, liberals and the left.
What you can do:
- Pass this model motion through your union branch / trades council
- Send a letter of protest to the Egyptian authorities via the Egyptian embassy in London condemning the recent attacks on democratic freedoms
- Print out these signs and take photos to send us (firstname.lastname@example.org or http://www.facebook.com/mena.solidarity)
- Invite a speaker from MENA Solidarity Network to address your union branch about current events and report from the recent delegation to Egypt. Contact us by email email@example.com
- Look out for further information here about other developments in this campaign and share widely.