‘No to Military Trials’ to protest outside Shura Council

No to Military Trials has called for a protest at 4 pm Tuesday outside the Shura Council to coincide with the 50-member constitutional committee’s session.

The constitutional committee planned to discuss in its Tuesday session controversial articles in the draft constitution.

No to Military Trials called for a "no" vote on the article on military trials to civilians in the draft constitution.

”The Egyptian people are waiting for a constitution that reflects the 25 January revolution’s objectives,” the campaign said in a statement.

The draft constitution includes an article that constitutionalizes the "conditional" trial of Egyptians before military courts and wastes their right to be tried before an ordinary judge, the statement added.

”The constitutional committee did not only repeat the same crime of the [2012] suspended Constitution, but added a suspicious text expanding crimes for which civilians would stand military trials,” the statement read.

The wording of Article 171 subjects civilians who work at military-affiliated factories and facilities, and students at military schools and institutes to military trials, the statement said.

“Adding the General Intelligence to the article also gives its personnel immunity if they commit crimes against civilians,” read the statement.

”The second part of the same article indicates that any [assault] by civilians on military-affiliated facilities including clubs, hotels, gas stations, and factories would subject [assaulters] to military trials,” it added.

The second paragraph of the article also prevents publishing information about “military documents, secrets, public funds, or factories, allowing thus the military to set restrictions on the freedom of the press and circulation of information, the statement mentioned.  “This contradicts Article 50 in the draft constitution which protects journalists from trials over publishing charges.

The statement added the article prevents monitoring the military budget by the ordinary judiciary.

The No to Military Trials campaign accused the constitutional committee of disregarding demands to state in the article on transitional justice that civilians abused by military trials should be compensated and that abusers should be punished.

”The flimsy justifications put forward by committee members stress that the majority of the committee took the side of the military institution,” the statement read.

The campaign concluded its statement saying it would continue its struggle until a constitution that achieves the objectives of the revolution is drafted.

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