In an effort to pre-emptively curb the power of the person who will replace Hosni Mubarak as Egypt’s president (presumably Amr Moussa at the moment), the nation’s parliament today approved a ban on presidents sending civilians to military tribunals instead of civilian courts.
Mubarak was keen on using this tactic, often referring political opponents, including a large number of current parliamentarians, to the military court system on claims that they were a threat to national security. The new bill allowed those convicted under Mubarak-era tribunals to seek appeals.
All is not beer and skittles in Cairo, however, as the ban only covers the president and will not impact the military junta, meaning that the military can still continue to send civilians to tribunals instead of actual courts.
Human rights officials were quick to criticize the move, saying it was a disappointment that that it didn’t attempt to tackle the military’s ability to round up civilians. Rather, the parliament, whose leadership is claiming to be fighting against military rule, took the easy way out, and left the military’s power unmolested.
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