432 referred to military court for participating in Rabaa riots
Egyptian Soliders in front of Rabaa square - YOUM7/Hassan Mohamed (Archive)

CAIRO: The Damanhour prosecution in Alexandria referred 293 accused Muslim Brotherhood members to military court Saturday in the case of burning the Beheira Governorate building August 2013, retroactively applying a recent law concerning military trials.

In October, President Abdel Fatah Al-Sisi issued a decree allowing military forces to join police in securing public institutions for two years. Due to the new decree, all of the crimes committed against these institutions would be directly referred to military prosecution, then to military trial.  

Lawyer Ali Atef from the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information told The Cairo Post Sunday that this procedure was not legal and he expected it to be appealed very soon.

Al-Masry Al-Youm added Saturday that detainees were charged with surrounding the  building, burning parts of it along with number of the police vehicles and killing 7 civilians, injuring dozens others.

Chancellor Tamer Shamma, from the prosecution said that they had the right to refer the whole case to the military court because the investigations had not yet begun, even if the alleged crime took place before the issue of the law.

Another 139 were referred to military prosecution in Minya Governorate Saturday for being charged with burning a police station and killing two police officers in the riots erupted following the Rabaa Al-Adaweya sit-in dispersal, al-Wafd reported.

Attorney General Hisham Barakat said that case was witnessing wide investigation by the police officers, as videos and witnesses were found proving the defendants condemnation.

The controversial law issued by President Sisi was discussed and approved by the Cabinet shortly after the incident that took place in Karam Qowadis, North Sinai Oct. 24 killing 31 officers. However, a number of human rights activists criticized it, saying that it represents “a reproduction of the 1990s.”

The Oct. 24 attack was followed by high security new measures including a state of emergency and curfew in North Sinai, number of wide military operations and the new law issued by Sisi.

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