The past year in Egypt has highlighted the difficulties civilians face in the military justice system. Around 15,000 civilians were tried in military courts, most of them reporting that they did not receive full legal rights in their speedy trials. These trials prompted a widespread campaign against trying civilians in military courts and the practice has, for the most part, stopped.
But it’s not just civilian defendants who have had their quest for justice stymied in military courts. Any case involving a member of the military must be heard by a military tribunal, even if it is a civilian accusing a member of the military of a crime.
Tanya, a British citizen, knows the frustrations of dealing with Egypt’s military justice system all too well. (Her name has been changed to protect her identity.)
She says she was raped by a military officer at the barracks of a military checkpoint between Ismailia and Arish in May 2011. Read more…
It may not be sexy or glamorous but that maybe why it’s so vital, municipalities may be the last hope for success for this revolution after parliament was usurped by Islamists and Mubarak-era faces with very few young faces.
At least that is the thinking of the people behind a new initiative called Ma7liat (Municipalities), who feel that this is the last solution to ingratiate Egyptian youth – especially those who participated in the revolution – in the political process.
“There was a political decision for there to be no change after the revolution,” says the founder of the initiative Mostafa Shouman, “if revolutions don’t change anything they do create opportunities for change. Municipalities are politics at its most basic, basic services at street level, so we want to introduce the youth to that and then they can go on to parliament.”
Municipal councils are the local micro units of government, concerned with the services required in districts and neighborhoods, roads, utilities, waste disposal and so on. Under the previous regime, they too were appropriated by the defunct National Democratic Party (NDP) and were used as a method of patronage for retired military and police officers. Read more…