In a new bout of continued oppression of freedom and attempts to silence opposition by ignoring the basic rights of civilians, a new law has been decreed to legitimize military presence in civilian life under the pretext of protecting public property and state facilities in a new form of militarization of the state at large in Egypt.
The new law which will last for a period of two years also legitimizes further military trials for civilians and crimes committed against these facilities are to be referred to the military prosecutor and military justice. The law comes as Sisi's response to the blasts in Sinai which left at least 30 conscripts dead in its wake according to official sources.
During the last year following the military coup, Egypt has witnessed numerous blasts a third of which are allegations to combat terrorism by implementing protest laws to prevent demonstrations allowing authorities to use as much force as it deems necessary to disperse protestors. As a result thousands of pro-democracy anti-coup peaceful protestors have been arrested and tried in courts which lack any sort of justice in regards to international standards.
Such a decree demonstrates complete restriction of human rights and freedoms allowing complete control and intervention of the armed forces in the everyday life of the Egyptian people as they are forced to remain silent. The law imposed will provide legal cover of the armed forces turning the country into a military ruled state in the very near future.
Such a law provides the military with new powers and provides legal cover for them as innocent civilians may be arrested with the excuse they pose threats to state and military institutions which to date have not been clarified. The law could very well lead to a state of emergency for all civilians.
Human Rights Monitor warns that such a decision will place civilians under martial surveillance bringing them to stand before court under the pretext of damaging or threatening state facilities and this is both illegal and unconstitutional on both a national and international level denying them fair trials.
HRM also warned of a recurrence of military tribunals of civilians similar to those which took place in 2011 and 2012 during the transitional period following the ousting of former President Mohamed Mubarak where hundreds of civilians were brought before court for different alleged violations. The trials which targeted many students ended once the former President Mohamed Morsy came to power.
The law also allows political detainees prosecuted by civil courts to be referred to military court. HRM fears the law will be abused and unjustly implemented against leading Muslim Brotherhood figures known to be affiliated to the largest opposition movements in Egypt and this is a flagrant violation of human freedom and rights.
It is worth noting that the military had certain powers in trying citizens in the case of damage however the new law exposes thousands of civilians to prosecution and military justice since state institutions will now fall under military jurisdiction.
HRM calls on the Egyptian Authorities to halt all military tribunals of civilians and to refer them to civil courts guaranteeing democracy take its course.