No justice from Sisi’s judges

December 8, 2014

An Egyptian court dismissed murder charges against ex-dictator Hosni Mubarak, his two sons and a host of other officials of the old regime in late November, in a further confirmation that the counterrevolution is in control and confident to carry out its agenda.

In June 2012, Mubarak was sentenced to life in prison for his role in the killing of more than 1,000 demonstrators during the uprising in 2011 that ended his three decades in power and marked the highest achievement of the Arab Spring. But Egypt's powerful military held onto power after Mubarak, biding its time until it could reassert its authority.

In July 2013, exploiting popular discontent with the Muslim Brotherhood government of President Mohamed Morsi, the army, led by Gen. Abdul-Fattah el-Sisi, made its move. It has unleashed a reign of repression, directed first at the Brotherhood, and then against all expressions of dissent. There could be no more obvious symbol of the grotesque hypocrisy of the "justice" system in Egypt than the hundreds of death sentences delivered against Brotherhood supporters--while a murderous tyrant like Mubarak goes free.

In this statement released the day of the court decision, the Revolutionary Socialists of Egypt express their outrage at the Cairo court's decision and call for a struggle to express the true aims and hopes of the 2011 revolution.

THE RULING by the Cairo Criminal Court today [Saturday, November 29] in the retrial of Hosni Mubarak, his sons Gamal and Ala'a, fugitive businessman Hussein Salem, former Interior Minister Habib al-Adly and six of his key aides was long-awaited, with contrasting expectations about the result, despite all indications and recent events confirming that the Egyptian judiciary would remain as "lofty" this time as every time in the past.

The ousted president was carried into court on his bed, a melodramatic gesture which pales in comparison with the number of souls who have been lost through systematic torture inside police stations or through suicide as a result of the severe economic crisis which Egyptian society is experiencing. Hosni Mubarak, this man against whom the uprising of 25 January was only able to lay charges of "killing protesters and misuse of public funds" (and that during the course of more than 40 court sessions which ended with the decision of the Court of Cassation to accept that there was no case to answer and start the trial again).

Fallen dictator Hosni Mubarak
Hosni Mubarak

The hearing this time took place in completely changed circumstances, with ongoing popular disregard for the conduct of this ludicrous trial and complete judicial disregard for the scales of justice. The trial of the ousted president has come as the perfect embodiment of the ugly reality we are living through...and the fact that the situation has not changed from how it was more than three years ago.

For the "lofty Egyptian judiciary," as they say, continues to follow the whims of those in power. Just a few days ago, sentences of between two and five years were handed down to 78 children on charges of belonging to the Muslim Brotherhood and participation in unauthorized demonstrations. Before them, women students from Al-Azhar University were given five-year sentences and fines of 100,000 Egyptian pounds. Among these many tragedies, the numbers of detainees go on rising: from the detainees in the Shura Council case, to the detainees from the Islamist current, to the detainees from "the walkers within the walls" [case]. All of them have been convicted on charges of "terrorism" against a state which is beginning to show the contours of its fascist face.

The Egyptian judiciary is the ideal embodiment of this failed justice: the kind of "justice" which fails to implement the court decisions to re-nationalize privatized companies that were sold off dirt cheap. This justice is too "blind" to see the security forces shooting workers with birdshot in Alexandria, or the firing of trade union leaders in Suez as a result of reports accusing the independent unions of terrorism, endangering national security and harboring sleeper cells for the Muslim Brotherhood. It ends with laws covering up the firing of workers and breaking trade union organization, or identifying with the policies of the state in arresting thousands of students in a brutal campaign of repression alongside the operation of disciplinary boards, which hand out exclusions without investigating the cases.

TODAY, THE Criminal Court issued a historic ruling, which will join a series of ugly decisions by the Egyptian judiciary. It announced the acquittal of the deposed president and Habib al-Adly and his aides on charges of killing protesters. The decisions of the judges today do not represent anything new in the Egyptian judiciary's headlong rush towards the abyss. The only thing which is certain from the experience of the last three years is that only the revolutionary masses and their movement in the streets can be relied upon to set up the gallows for the enemies of the the hands of students in their universities and workers in their the hands of all the masses who reject policies of impoverishment, dependency and the hands of the masses who stand in the face of military rule as represented by the mad general.

The proceedings of the trial mean little to us. We cannot rely on rulings handed down by judges who are afraid of Sisi and his regime, and there is no room to comment on their decisions, but we will cooperate with all the revolutionary forces to expose the significance of the trial of the century, including the experience it will provide for the masses when they rise up again in protest against the continuation of the policies of impoverishment, dependence and tyranny, in which General Sisi has surpassed his teacher Mubarak.

The Revolutionary Socialists assert now, more than ever before, that the only way to bring down the pillars of this corrupt state and to cleanse it of the gang of mercenaries is to build a revolutionary party. This is the only compass for building a more just and equal society--a society in which sectarianism or dogmatic nationalist slogans will find no place, and in which being human will come first.

So these are your judges, these shop-soiled goods? Down with military rule!

The Revolutionary Socialists
November 29, 2014

First published in English at the Revolutionary Socialists website.

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