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Egyptian-Style Justice

by Stephen Lendman Saturday, Nov. 29, 2014 at 7:11 AM
lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net

Egypt

Egyptian-Style Justice

by Stephen Lendman

On Saturday, Egyptian Judge Mahmud Kamel al-Rashidi acquitted Hosni Mubarak and seven top security commanders of murdering hundreds of 2011 Taahrir Square protesters.

Sowing chaos. Creating a security vacuum. During 18 revolutionary days. In clashes with police. From January 25 - February 11, 2011.

Despite clear evidence proving guilt. Because of what he called a technicality. A lack of jurisdiction. Mubarak's lengthy public service. His "constitutional legitimacy."

"To rule for or against him after he has become old will be left to history and the Judge of Judges, the Righteous and the Justice (God), who will question him about his rule."

Mubarak and his two sons, Alaa and Gamal, were declared innocent of unrelated corruption charges. Involving gas exports to Israel at below-market prices. More on today's ruling below.

Illegitimate junta power rules Egypt. Justice is pure fantasy. None whatever exists. Not now. Not earlier under decades of military rule.

Including 30 years under Mubarak. Brutal by any standard. Ruling through police state emergency powers. Permitting 1958 Emergency Law authority.

Granting Egyptian despots the right to arrest individuals without charge. Detain them indefinitely. Deny them due process. Declare them guilty by accusation.

According to the International Federation for Human Rights (IFHR), Egypt's emergency law extremism grants "broad power to impose restrictions on the freedoms of assembly, movement or residence.."

(T)he power to arrest and detain suspects or those deemed dangerous, and the power to search individuals and places without the need to follow the provisions of the Criminal Procedure Code."

In other words, Egyptian authorities empowered to do whatever they wish extrajudicially.

Violating international law. Fundamental democratic rights. Inviolability of private homes. Free movement and assembly.

Institutionalizing despotic rule. Continuing under General Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.

A brutal dictator. A Washington favorite. A mass-murderer. An anti-junta Independence of the Judiciary Front (IJF) report saying:

"The truth has become clearer today, more than ever…about the systematic killings and fascist crimes committed by coup commanders and collaborators after July 3, 2013.

"…Mubarak and senior officials in his regime were guilty of murder and corruption" during years of their despotic rule. Irrefutable evidence proves it.

Since Gamal Abdel Nasser's 1956 - 1970 rule, Egypt shifted from defying Western imperialism to becoming a reliable strategic partner.

Anwar Sadat hastened a trend called "infitah." An open-door policy. To attract foreign capital.

By loosening currency controls. Creating tax-free investment zones. Privatizing state enterprises. Exploiting workers ruthlessly.

His October 1981 assassination elevated former air force commander/deputy defense minister/air chief marshall/vice president Hosni Mubarak to power.

A reliable US puppet. Through most of his tenure. Profiting handsomely. Including from out-of-control corruption.

Brutally enforcing hardline rule. Targeting activists. Dissidents. Islamists. Opposition forces. Anyone perceived challenging entrenched power.

A 1996 press law criminalized defamatory insults against state officials. Suppressing media freedom and speech.

Including against bloggers, academics and others. Emergency law powers permit anything goes.

Especially against regime critics. Vulnerable for revealing hard truths.

Washington engineered Mubarak's ouster. He fell from grace. Became more liability than asset.

For years, State Department and Pentagon officials wanted him out. He opposed Bush's 2003 Iraq war and other US policies. He had to go.

Washington engineered Egyptian uprisings. Spontaneity was created and manipulated. Arab Spring is Western terminology. It's yet to bloom.

First used in March 2005. Suggesting a beneficial Iraq war spinoff. Washington deplores emerging democracies. Prioritizes unchallenged control.

Regional uprisings achieved nothing. Daily life reflects poverty, unemployment, human misery and despotism. Tens of oppressed millions suffer.

Conditions now worse than earlier. People want jobs, decent pay, better services, ending corruption and repression. They want liberating democratic change.

In February 2011, Mubarak was ousted. At the time, an earlier article said hold the celebration. Egypt's struggle just began.

Everything changed but stayed the same. Then worsened. Perhaps more than ever now.

Junta power rules Egypt. Fascist extremism writ large. General Abdel Fattah el-Sisi a brutal strongman.

Washington's man in Cairo. An Egyptian Military Academy graduate. Trained in America. A US War College graduate.

Maintaining close Pentagon ties. Deploring democracy. Tolerating none whatever. Elections when held are farcical.

Illegitimate by any standard. Junta power rules Egypt. Brute force standard practice. Ousting President Mohamed Morsi began reign of terror harshness.

Martial law. Constitutional suspension. Tanks patrolling streets. Peaceful demonstrators murdered in cold blood.

Mass arrests, imprisonments, torture and other forms of abuse standard practice. Muslim Brotherhood (MB) members are prime targets.

El-Sisi wants them entirely eliminated. Going all-out to do it.

Ordering the most outrageous mass-murder in modern Egyptian history.

Kangaroo court injustice prevails. Sentencing hundreds MB members to death. Summarily.

Without due process. Or judicial fairness. Or innocent unless proved guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Automatic guilt by accusation. Case closed.

A London-based MB press release denouncing mass death sentences. Calling them "a clear violation of all norms of humane and legal justice."

A "clear indication (of a) corrupt judiciary…" Supporting regime brutality. "(S)urpass(ing) decades long oppression and tyranny."

Reflecting police state rule and then some. Worse than under Mubarak. Obama turning a blind eye to its ruthlessness.

In June 2012, Mubarak was convicted of conspiring to kill hundreds of 2011 Tahrir Square protesters. Along with his interior minister, Haviv el-Adly.

Sentenced to life in prison. It didn't matter. In January 2013, an Egyptian court overturned his conviction and sentence.

Ordered a new trial. Returning things to square one. Postponing justice. Denying it as things turned out.

Including for dozens of unjustly acquitted police and Interior Ministry officials.

Hours earlier, Egyptian Judge Mahmud Kamel al-Rashidi dropped all criminal charges against Mubarak. Ignoring his complicity in mass murder.

Allowing him perhaps to be freed for the first time since spring 2011. He's 86 years old. Reportedly ill. Held in a military hospital.

Appeared in court on a stretcher. Remained stone-faced as Judge al-Rashidi absolved him. Without elaboration.

Dismissing charges of complicity with murder and corruption. Other allegations alleging he and his sons got vacation homes as kickbacks.

In May, Mubarak was sentenced to three years in prison. In a separate corruption case. Involving lavish government-funded home improvements he and his sons got.

Detained since April 2011, he may be freed. Having served his requisite three years. Judge al-Rashidi ludicrously claimed his ruling had "nothing to do with politics."

"It was not suitable to try him of crimes according to the penal code," he added.

US funded (now banned) April 6 Youth Movement member Ahmad Abd Allah called Judge al-Rashidi's ruling "very depressing."

Saying he "saw the blood of the people who died in January 2011, and…carried some of them (himself). What a shame for the judicial system. What a shame for Egypt as a state."

"But this wasn't unexpected. The Mubarak era still hasn't fallen. It hasn't stopped killing. So why would they say Mubarak is guilty when they're doing the same thing."

Ahmed Khaleefa was one of Mubarak's victims. Killed at age 19. His father called al-Rashidi's ruling "political."

"The judiciary has been procrastinating for four years so they could clear him after hope had been lost," he said.

"The verdict hit us like bullets," he added. "I consider that my son Ahmed died today."

Lawyer Othman al-Hefnawy represented some protester families. Saturday's ruling begs the question, he said.

If Mubarak et al didn't murder hundreds of Tahrir Square protesters, who did, he asked?

During nationally televised August court testimony, Mubarak ludicrously declared his innocence. Saying he'd go to his grave with a clear conscience. History will vindicate him, he added.

Judge al-Rashidi's ruling can be appealed. Whether it will or not remains to be seen. It leaves Mubarak convicted of one crime  during 30 years of despotic rule.

Charged with misusing public funds. Around million for presidential palace renovations. Carrying a three-year sentence already served.

Justice remains denied. The worst of draconian harshness continues.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs.

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