Monday, May 25, 2015

Military trials for Egyptian university students who block roads

Daily News of Egypt reports:
Five Mansoura University students were handed three-year sentences by a military court Thursday, with another student receiving a seven-year sentence on Thursday, said ‘No to Military Trials’ independent movement member Sara Al-Sherif
The students were arrested on 16 April 2014 in front of Mansoura University’s Al-Galaa gate on charges of illegal assembly and blocking roads, amongst other charges. The case was later referred to the military prosecution on 20 January 2015, following the issuance of the controversial presidential decree categorised under Law 136/2014. 
In October, President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi issued a decree stipulating the referral to a military court of any person who attempts to vandalise public property. Al-Sisi urged military personnel to take part in protecting those properties, along with the police forces. The law will remain in place for two years. 
Amongst the facilities “protected…against terrorist attacks” by the new law are “stations, power networks and towers, gas and oil fields, rail lines, road networks, bridges”.
It is estimated that over 2000 civilians have been referred to military courts for trial since November 2014.

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