Egypt Watch

ENHR: Egyptian courts fail to achieve standards of justice

On Wednesday, the Egyptian Network for Human Rights said that the Egyptian authorities failed to identify with the basic standards of justice in exceptional courts, the State Security Court of Emergency in particular, which issues arbitrary death sentences against political detainees.

The network added in a press statement that these trials violate many international treaties regarding human rights and related to fair trials, including the right to be tried by an unbiased tribunal, have a public hearing, and to have a lawyer.

ENHR pointed out that the right to a fair trial is violated also through trying the defendants before unlawful courts such as the exceptional military courts, despite the fact that article 204 of the Egyptian constitution provides that civil citizens cannot be tried before military courts except for the cases that include a direct assault against the military. Notwithstanding, the Egyptian parliament approved an amendment in April 2019 that allows trying civil citizens before military courts, which represented a defective step according to the ENHR.

In the same vein, the African Committee for Human Rights said that the military trials of civil citizens are not fair trials, especially with giving the court the right to refuse the lawyer chosen by the defendant. Finally, ENHR demanded the international community recognise the violations committed by the Egyptian authorities, including the judiciary, and to impose a third-party oversight over political trials in Egypt.