The Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights condemned, on Sunday, the continuous renewal of the state of emergency since April 2017 in violation of the constitution, which defines its maximum period at three months and limits it to only one renewal.
The condemnation came in a statement over an appeal presented by EIPR’s lawyers to Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, as the military ruler, to abolish the sentence issued by the State Security Court for Emergency State against two defendants for participating in a demonstration.
According to emergency law, a court for state security is formed, and its rulings cannot be appealed after approval of the military ruler, who is the president of the state. The incident indicated in the statement goes back to September 2020, when security services arrested Ibrahim Issa Ibrahim and Ahmed al-Saghir along with others, for demonstrating below Gheita Bridge in Sharqia Province for 40 minutes, threatening to use violence whilst protesting and possessing publications that call to suspend the constitution. On 23 February, the State Security Court for Emergency State in Belbis sentenced the two defendants to five years in prison and fined them EGP 100,000 in case 5729 of 2020.
According to the statement, EIPR’s lawyers presented to the court documents that demonstrate that the defendants were arrested before the date of the incident, which there is no evidence that it had really happened. “The tribune refused to hear the testimony of the secretary of police who arrested the defendants,” said a statement issued by EIPR on Sunday. “The tribune also refused to let witnesses testify and prevented them from entering the court.”
The statement added that the court depended only on the investigations in the absence of any other evidence, while the Court of Cassation decided that investigations alone are not sufficient as evidence.