11 Brotherhood members sent to Egypt's military prosecution

Ahram Online, Thursday 20 Nov 2014

Egypt's president recently expanded the powers of the country's military judiciary

Eleven members of the banned Muslim Brotherhood were referred on Thursday to military prosecutors for questioning over accusations of rioting and planting a bomb in a court.

This comes after a recent presidential decision to expand the powers of the military judiciary.

Six of the members face accusations of disrupting railway tracks in August while five others are accused, in a separate incident, of planting a sound bomb in the local court complex.

Originally from the Nile Delta governorate of Kafr Al-Sheikh, the defendants were referred to military prosecutors in Alexandria. They had been detained pending investigations by the general prosecution in Kafr Al-Sheikh before being referred to a military court.

On 16 November, five people were referred to a military court for allegedly torching Al-Azhar University's campus in Cairo.

President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi issued a law on 27 October giving military courts power to try those who attack government and public "vital" facilities. The law – to last for two years – also allows army forces to assist the police in guarding these sites.

The decision was issued following a major deadly attack on security forces in North Sinai on 24 October, which also prompted the government to declare a state of emergency in the area.

Attacks on police and military sites and personnel have been recurrent over the past months, mainly in Sinai, but have expanded to Cairo and the Nile Delta.

Improvised and sound bombs have been a recurrent method used in such attacks.

Activists in Egypt have been campaigning against trying civilians in military courts.

Egypt's 2014 constitution gives military tribunals jurisdiction over crimes committed against army facilities and personnel, which caused controversy as opponents of the article insist civilians should not be subject to military trials.

Short link: