Press Release: Egyptian Military’s Power Grab Endangers Human Rights

JUNE 19, 2012

Contact: Suzanne Trimel, strimel@aiusa.org, 212-633-4150, @strimel

(Washington D.C.) — Amnesty International USA’s advocacy director for the Middle East and North Africa, Sanjeev Bery, issued the following comments today in response to the developing situation in Egypt:

“The move by Egypt’s Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) to give itself unlimited power free of any oversight is a troubling development for human rights. The Egyptian military’s terrible track record on human rights gives no indication that Egyptian citizens will be guaranteed the freedoms they bravely rose up to wrest from Hosni Mubarak’s regime last year in Tahrir Square.”

“In light of the SCAF’s power grab and competing election claims, further civilian demonstrations may soon occur. The army must guarantee the rights of protestors to peacefully express their opinions and ensure human rights are not abused in the name of security. The army must end its tactics of repression and follow through on its rhetorical pledges that Egyptians will get a government that is fully accountable to them.”

Amnesty International is a Nobel Peace Prize-winning grassroots activist organization with more than 3 million supporters, activists and volunteers in more than 150 countries campaigning for human rights worldwide. The organization investigates and exposes abuses, educates and mobilizes the public, and works to protect people wherever justice, freedom, truth and dignity are denied.

Hamas Must End the Death Penalty

Originally posted at Human Rights Now (Amnesty International USA blog)

By Sanjeev Bery

June 15, 2012

Trapped between a crushing Israeli blockade and human rights violations at home, the 1.6 million Palestinian residents of the Gaza Strip face many challenges in their daily lives.  In our 2012 Annual Report, Amnesty International catalogues the list, from a humanitarian crisis created by the Israeli blockade to detention and torture by Hamas security forces.

Meanwhile, Palestinian armed groups have used the Gaza Strip to fire indiscriminate rockets and mortars into southern Israel.  Daniel Viflic, aged 16, died in 2011 after a school bus in which he was travelling was struck by a missile fired from Gaza.

The latest news is that four Gaza Palestinians are facing execution after being given the death penalty by Hamas military and criminal courts.  There are reports that at least one of the four “confessed” to the crime of murder after being tortured.  The family of Na’el Jamal Qandil Doghmosh has stated that when they saw him after two months in prison, his nails had been torn out and there were burns and bruises on his body.

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