New Law Expands Army’s Law Enforcement Powers During Referendum
"(Cairo) – The law that President Mohamed Morsy of Egypt issued on December 9, 2012, grants the military authority to arrest civilians and refer them to military courts until results are announced in the scheduled December 15 constitutional referendum. Morsy should immediately amend the law to prohibit trials of civilians before military courts and require the military to promptly hand over any detained civilians to civilian prosecutors.....
“Any deployment of the Egyptian military to help maintain security needs to be accompanied by guarantees to respect basic rights,” said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. “President Morsy should be ending, not expanding, military trials of civilians.”
The new law ignores a June administrative court decision annulling a similar decree issued by the justice minister during military rule. Unfair military trials of civilians were one of the most serious violations Egyptians experienced during the more than a year-and-a-half of military rule, with over 12,000 civilians tried before military courts......."