Egypt’s ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces announced that the legal status of citizens who had been adjudicated by military courts of late will be reconsidered.
The interim military rulers have arrested and prosecuted tens of civilians since the January 25 Revolution. Most of them have been indicted based on harsh, new punishments meant to curb thugs that have exploited the moments in the revolution.
One of the detained is Walid Sami Saad, an unemployed man who was captured on 9 March.
It’s said he protested in Tahrir Square, the epicentre of the revolution where many demonstrations were staged over the past weeks, because he could not find a job.
Sami’s mother has been pleading through the media for the release of her son, which urged General Commander of the Armed Forces and Defence Minister Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi to order his retrial.
“In response to the call of the mother of citizen Walid Sami Saad, published in edition number 1415 of Al-Wafd newspaper on 14 April 2011, the general commander of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces ordered to restart the trial of citizen Walid Sami Saad.”
“The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces stresses that it will look into all the cases of the youths who were recently tried [by military courts].”
The Armed Forces has assumed power in Egypt since ex-president Hosni Mubarak was deposed on 11 February. The military rule is to last until the upcoming presidential elections later this year.
Throughout the past weeks military courts sentenced a number of civilians, including blogger Maikel Nabil, who was given three years in jail for his blog post entitled “The army and the people were never ‘one hand.’”
Many political activists have repeatedly condemned military courts for trying civilians.