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12. May 2006

Egypten: Kamp for domstolenes uafhængighed - baggrund og opdatering

To egyptiske dommere skrev forleden, i en kommentar i The Guardian, om baggrunden for de egyptiske dommeres kamp for deres uafhængighed af regeringen - en historie om valgsvindel, chikane og politisk indblanding under overskriften When judges are beaten:
For more than 20 years, members of the Egyptian judiciary have been fighting for independence from the state. The political and economic reforms needed to achieve democracy and to restore public faith in government can be achieved only under an independent judiciary. So we are shocked to find ourselves before a disciplinary court, made up of government appointees, on charges of insulting the judiciary.
Last year, we were part of a working party that monitored parliamentary elections. This was set up by the general assembly of the Judges' Club, the elected body representing Egypt's judiciary. We identified violations in a large number of electoral constituencies. We demanded the opening of an investigation into election fraud, intimidation and assaults on judges who were supervising the elections. Unfortunately a large number of those assaults were carried out by the very policemen who were charged with protecting us.

When the justice minister issued a decision to bring us before the disciplinary court, the Judges' Club called a protest sit-in. A large number of judges and other citizens turned up to show support for the judges' demands. After midnight, shortly after the sit-in began, our supporters were attacked by the police, yet they returned the following day in a show of defiance. Once again there was a savage attack by several thousand police officers. They surrounded the people protesting outside the club, beat them and carried them off in goods vans. One of the judges, Mahmud Hamza, was standing at the door of the club, recording what was happening on his mobile phone. An officer dragged him into the street and beat him up, causing numerous injuries.
Man slår med andre ord hårdt ned på en protest baseret på en i juridisk forstand berettiget klage - og gør det på en måde, der tydeligt viser regimets foragt for hele ideen om en retsstat:

Når dommere får tæsk af politiet - hvor langt er vi så ikke ude?

Men det bliver værre:
There have been almost 50 arrests on the charge of "supporting the judges", even though this is not a crime in Egyptian law. These arrests took place under emergency laws despite the government's insistence that it would only use them in cases of drug-dealing or terrorism. These young men and women have not committed any crime other than supporting our campaign for an independent judiciary. And support for us is growing because people know that we are not doing this for political purposes. We are simply independent judges.
Aner vi et mønster? Først indfører vi terrorlove og nødbestemmelser, som kun og udelukkende er for at bekæmpe terrorisme - og ved først givne lejlighed bruger vi disse love til at slå ned på vore politiske modstandere. Det er, hvad der sker i Egypten, og det er, hvad der vil ske her, om ikke vi passer på.

Om forholdet til omverdenen, især Vesten, hedder det:
There is no doubt that educated Egyptians, among them judges, have great respect for western ideas. The functioning of democracy in western society is a model that every Egyptian hopes to see one day in our country. But there is also no doubt that the crisis in Iraq has had a negative effect. In particular, interference in Iraq's internal affairs has created the impression that western intervention to impose "democracy" is not about principle but about self-interest.

In Egypt we don't have any confidence in US policy because it is a contradictory policy that pays lip service to democracy while supporting dictatorships. We have confidence in the Egyptian people. We welcome support from any quarter, but we won't rely on it. We will depend on ourselves in our campaign for reform and change.
Der er nyt om de anholdte - nyheden er, at de efter omstændighederne har det godt, at de nu bliver langt bedre behandlet end i de første dage, og at de derfor har afsluttet deres sultestrejke.

Alaa El-Fatah skriver fra sin celle, at han har svært ved helt at fatte, at han er i fængsel, men at det går sådan nogenlunde OK og ingen bliver ham bekendt torteret:
I could go like this, give a list of observations about my cellmates and the prison itself, like the fact that there are hundreds of cats here, but that's all it is. A list of observations, nothing sinking in, no feelings or emotions, no real impressions. Anyways it's a good cell.

The guys are taking good care of us, even though since Kefaya landed we brought them nothing but trouble. I spent the first day with the whole sector (3anbar) locked. No one was allowed out not even for a few minutes. Turns out this was punishment for the hunger strike. The way they figured it the criminal inmates would be so angry at us for bringing this on them, they'd make sure we break the hunger strike even if by force.

I do not know about other cells but in cell 7 they did not harm Karim ...
Men selvom de anholdte er ved godt mod, har deltagere i en fredelig demonstration for domstolenes uafhængighed naturligvis intet at bestille i en fængselscelle - så der er stadig al mulig grund til at skrive under på protesten eller selv skrive til den egyptiske ambassade.