The Arabist

The Arabist

By Issandr El Amrani and friends.

Posts tagged military trials
Egypt: anti-SCAF activists kidnapped, beaten

I have been hearing of several instances of this in the last few days:

On Friday December 9th ,2011 I was kidnapped , assaulted and dumped on the highway for no apparent reason other than being a member of the No military trials for civilians group...

After he was beaten and mollested his captors only took the phone used for the No To Military Trials campaign, nothing else.

Read the rest of Zeyad Salem's site and the No To Military Trial campaign website

The more things change...

A note on the arrest (and subsequent release) of AUC law professor Amr Shalakany over the weekend. According to his lawyer, Shalakany was arrested after getting into a verbal argument with a police officer in Sharm El Sheikh. The officer accused him of "insulting the police and the army" (my emphasis) and referred him to a military court. While he was being held overnight in jail, someone in his cell started a small fire (a common strategy here to get wardens to move prisoners out of over-crowded cells) and Shalakany was then also accused, for good measure, with "incitement to burn down a police station."

In the end, a military court and then a civilian one both declined to pursue the charges. Shalakany is a well-known academic, with many friends and supporters, and a contributor to The New York Times blog. His arrest was quickly and indignantly reported. I saw someone on Twitter rejoicing that the army "heard us." To me what happened sends a different message: if you get in a fight with a policeman, he will think of a trumped-up charge against you (nothing new) and try to refer you to a military trial (new and even worse than before). Just as under Mubarak, if you're not someone wealthy, well-connected or well-known, watch out. As Shalakany's lawyer, Ashraf Abbas told me: "At first they thought he was just anybody." Someone like the 5,000 "anybodies" they've already tried