No to military trials for civilians… Down with the military regime
“They had the intention to commit terrorist crimes”. That is the accusation for which the punishment is execution. This sums up the story of eight young opponents of the military regime, who were sentenced to death yesterday in the so-called “Cairo cell” affair in the absence of any concrete evidence or proof, alongside twenty others who were sentenced to life in prison or shorter terms.
Some of the accused, among whom Sohaib Saad and Omar Mohammed, had been abducted from the streets by State Security on 1 June 2015. They turned up in the Tora prison 30 days after their disappearance, during which the Interior Ministry denied any knowledge of their whereabouts.
Those youths are the latest case in a long series of sentences by military tribunals against civilians since the military coup in mid-2013.
The judge-executioner implements sentences that express the monstrous thirst for revenge of an insane general who proclaims openly “I am the state and the state is me”, to terrorise his opponents from all political backgrounds, today the Islamists and tomorrow the revolutionaries.
Through imprisonment, fines and executions, the general wants us an enslaved people, one that doesn’t utter any claim for freedom, justice or emancipation, one that doesn’t stand in the way of the enrichment of the capitalist class in all its sections, one that doesn’t prevent him from selling Egypt’s soil to the most backward force in the Arab world.
Does the general not know, after US imperialism executed Che Guevara, after agents of dictator Stalin assassinated socialist leader Leon Trotsky, or even in Egypt when an unfair trial in 1952 sentenced workers Khamis and Bakri to death, what happened? The struggle did not end, the tyrants were thrown in the dustbin of history and the memory of the strugglers inspired millions of young people.
Your sentences will only lead to more tension and anger, so do not be too reassured. And in spite of your belief that the masses will not rise, their revolt will come one day. There will be many motives, chief among which the steadily creeping poverty that hits the living standards of large sections of the population, as well as the repression, the violations of liberties and the torture and harassment that were imposed on everyone.
But until that day, revolutionaries cannot content themselves with resentfulness, we must speak out loud and reject your tribunals, your laws and your constitution. We must struggle to put an end to those military trials for civilians that do not exclude anyone, as shown by the military prosecution against navy arsenal’s civilian workers who were accused of going on strike and imprisoned for four days pending investigations. We must therefore get involved in the “No to military tribunals” campaign alongside all truly democratic forces as the military prosecutions will not exclude anyone.
Let us expose the regime and its fascist military tribunals. Let us all hang on to the struggle for history teaches us that freedom requires many sacrifices. We are no less capable than the peoples of the world who have suffered under military regimes, but who succeeded in regaining democracy through their stubborn and sustained struggles.
To every activist and militant who is struggling for freedom and justice, stand your ground and do not let this crime go unnoticed. And remember the suspension of a death sentence is not the end of the struggle. It is our solemn responsibility towards those whose life is deemed expendable by the “judiciary institutions” henchmen as they idle in their air-conditioned rooms.
30 May 2016