Egyptians arrested by military during poll to face civil courts: Presidency

Ahram Online, Tuesday 11 Dec 2012

New law granting the military powers of arrest will not mean referral of civilians to military courts, clarifies Egypt's presidency

A statement released by Egypt's presidency on Tuesday confirmed that civilians arrested by military personnel before and during Saturday's constitutional referendum would be referred to civil – rather than military – courts.

The announcement was made after rights activists criticised a decision by President Mohamed Morsi on Sunday temporarily granting the military powers of arrest with a view to securing the upcoming polls.

Law 107 of 2012 gives army officers the authority to make arrests to "maintain public order" from the day of issuance until results of the constitutional poll are made public.

Giving military officers arrest powers was initially suggested last year by Egypt's then-ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, but political forces – including the Muslim brotherhood and its Freedom and Justice Party, along with human rights activists – opposed the move at the time.

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