Thursday, June 21, 2012

Egypt: Military Power Grab Creates Conditions for Abuse

Decrees Embed Armed Forces’ Role in Law Enforcement

Human Rights Watch
June 21, 2012

"(New York) – Decrees issued by the Egyptian ruling military council and the Justice Minister in recent days sharply reduce civilian oversight of military actions, creating conditions ripe for further serious human rights violations, Human Rights Watch said today.

A June 4, 2012 Justice Ministry Decree empowers the military to arrest civilians. On June 17, the ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) issued new Constitutional Declaration provisions that set out an expanded role for the military in civilian law enforcement, including continued trials of civilians before military courts. And a June 18 decree restructuring the National Defense Council gives the military expanded decision-making powers on internal as well as national security issues, Human Rights Watch said.

The generals’ relentless expansion of their authority to detain and try civilians now goes far beyond their powers under Hosni Mubarak,” said Joe Stork, deputy Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. “These decrees are the latest indication yet that there won’t be a meaningful handover to civilian rule on June 30.”......"

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