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Egypt proceeds with military trial of Muslim Brotherhood

Egypt today resumed trials of 40 senior members of The Muslim Brotherhood (MB).  The Muslim Brotherhood holds nearly 20 percent of the seats in Egypt's parliament, despite its members being banned from running for office.  Members of the MB are being tried for money laundering and terrorism.  It is one of the most influential jihadi militant groups in the world.

Defense lawyers and human rights representatives were largely banned from the proceedings.  Defense lawyers boycotted the opening trial dates, arguing they were not informed of the start date.  The Cairo branch of Human Rights Watch stated that “The governments refusal to allow human rights groups and the media into the trial undermined their assurances that civilians can get a fair trial before military courts.”  Civilian courts have in the past repeatedly released members of the MB from custody.

The MB is seen as President Hosni Mubarak's most significant challenge.  Mubarak has held the presidency since 1981.  The electoral process in Egypt bans members of militant groups from running as a political party and MB members run as independent candidates.  The trials may be seen as an attempt to crackdown against the MB by Mubarak's regime in the face of mounting opposition from the group.




Daniel Graeber

Daniel Graeber is a writer for United Press International covering Iraq, Afghanistan and the broader Levant. He has published works on international and constitutional law pertaining to US terrorism cases and on child soldiers. His first major work, entitled The United States and Israel: The Implications of Alignment, is featured in the text, Strategic Interests in the Middle East: Opposition or Support for US Foreign Policy. He holds a MA in Diplomacy and International Conflict Management from Norwich University, where his focus was international relations theory, international law, and the role of non-state actors.

Areas of Focus:International law; Middle East; Government and Politics; non-state actors