Monday, July 18, 2022

Nile encroachers to face military trial

Think you've seen it all?

Egypt is now going to try in military court those who illegally encroach on the Nile River. An unidentified reporter for Al-Monitor writes:
“Tightening these penalties is a good thing,” [Prof. Abbas] Sharaki said, but he criticized using military tribunals, “because this means that the civil law is not sufficient. Some of these violators could face injustice. The penal articles in the new irrigation law is a sufficient deterrent.”

Fouad Abdel Nabi, a professor of constitutional law at Menoufia University, told Al-Monitor, “No citizen should be transferred to a military court, because the Egyptian constitution stipulates that a citizen be tried before his natural (civil) judge.”

Abdul-Nabi continued, “There is no reason to refer any citizen who committed a violation to a military court. This is not an exceptional situation, and the state is currently in a state of stability since the president ended the state of emergency.” 

In October 2021, [President Abdel Fattah al-]Sisi lifted the state of emergency imposed in the country for years, declaring Egypt “an oasis of security and stability.”

However, [Mohamed Nasr al-Din] Allam, the former water official, believes that resorting to military prosecution is an appropriate deterrent.

Human rights jurisprudence strongly disfavors the trial of civilians by military courts. 

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