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Glory to the martyrs of the January Revolution … down with Sisi’s judges

Statement by the Revolutionary Socialists

The ruling by the Cairo Criminal Court today [Saturday 29 November] in the re-trial of Mubarak, his sons Gamal and Ala’a and fugitive businessman Hussein Salem, former Interior Minister Habib al-Adly and six of his key aides was awaited, in the midst of contrasting expectations about  the result, despite all indications and recent events confirming that the Egyptian judiciary would remain as “lofty” this time as every time in the past, just as expected.

The ousted president was carried into court on his bed, a melodramatic gesture which pales in comparison with the number of souls who have been lost through systematic torture inside police stations or through suicide as a result of the severe economic crisis which Egyptian society is experiencing. Hosni Mubarak, this man against whom the uprising of 25 January was only able to lay charges of “killing protesters and misuse of public funds” (and that during the course of more than 40 court sessions which ended with the decision of the Court of Cassation to accept that there was no case to answer and start the trial again).

The hearing this time took place in completely changed circumstances, with ongoing popular disregard for the conduct of this ludicrous trial, and complete judicial disregard for the scales of blind justice. The trial of the ousted president has come as the perfect embodiment of the ugly reality we are living through … and the situation has not changed from how it was more than three years ago.

For the “lofty Egyptian judiciary”, as they say, continues to follow the whims of those in power. Just a few days ago, sentences of between 2 and 5 years were handed down to 78 children on charges of belonging to the Muslim Brotherhood and participation in unauthorised demonstrations. Before them women students from Al-Azhar University were given five year sentences and 100,000 EGP fines. Among these many tragedies the numbers of detainees go on rising: from the detainees in the Shura Council case to the detainees from the Islamist current, to the detainees from “the walkers within the walls” [case]. All of them have been convicted only on charges of “terrorism” against a state which is beginning to show the contours of its fascist face.

The Egyptian judiciary is the ideal embodiment of this lamed justice: a kind of “justice” which fails to implement the court decisions to re-nationalise privatised companies which were sold off dirt cheap. This justice is too “blind” to see the security forces shooting workers with birdshot in Alexandria, or the sacking of trade union leaders in Suez as a result of reports accusing the independent unions of terrorism and endangering national security and harbouring sleeper cells for the Muslim Brotherhood. It ends with laws covering up the sacking of workers and aborting trade union organisation, or in identifying with the policies of the state in arresting thousands of students in a brutal campaign of repression alongside the operation of disciplinary boards which hand out exclusions without investigating the cases.

Today [29 November] the Criminal Court issued a historic ruling, which will join a series of ugly decisions by the Egyptian judiciary. It announced the acquittal of the deposed president and Habib al-Adly and his aides on the charges of killing protesters. The decisions of the judges today do not represent represent anything new in the Egyptian judiciary’s headlong rush towards the abyss. The only thing which is certain from the experience of the last three years is that only the revolutionary masses and their movement in the streets can be relied upon to set up the gallows for the enemies of the revolution … at the hands of students in their universities and workers in their factories … at the hands of all the masses who reject policies of impoverishment, dependency and humiliation … at the hands of the masses who stand in the face of military rule as represented by the mad general.

The proceedings of the trial mean little to us. We cannot rely on judicial rulings handed down by judges who are afraid of Sisi and his regime, and there is no room to comment on their decisions, but we will cooperate with all the revolutionary forces to expose the significance of the trial of the century including the experience it will provide for the masses when they rise up again in protest against the continuation of the policies of impoverishment, dependence and tyranny in which General Sisi has surpassed his teacher, Mubarak.

The Revolutionary Socialists assert this time, more than ever before, that the only way to bring down the pillars of this corrupt state and to cleanse it from the gang of mercenaries is to build a revolutionary party. This is the only compass for building a more just and equal society … a society in which sectarianism or dogmatic nationalist slogans will find no place … and in which being human will come first.

So these are your judges, these shop-soiled goods? Down with military rule!

The Revolutionary Socialists
29 November 2014