News / Africa

Key Egyptian Trial Postponed, Further Raising Tensions

Egypt's former Interior Minister Habib al-Adly, front, stands behind bars during his trial on charges relating to the killing of nearly 900 protesters during the 18-day uprising, Cairo, Egypt, July 25, 2011
Egypt's former Interior Minister Habib al-Adly, front, stands behind bars during his trial on charges relating to the killing of nearly 900 protesters during the 18-day uprising, Cairo, Egypt, July 25, 2011
Al Pessin

An Egyptian court has postponed the murder trial of the former interior minister, and ordered that the man be tried together with former President Hosni Mubarak. The move is likely to further inflame protesters in Tahrir Square, who are already dissatisfied with the pace of the trials, and other aspects of the ruling military council's policies.

Related video clip: Egypt tensions

A judge read the order live on nationwide television as many Egyptians tuned in to the broadcast of the highly-anticipated opening of the trial.  Some people in the courtroom shouted their disapproval of the postponement.

The court order says former Interior Minister Habib al-Adly will be tried together with former President Mubarak.  That trial is scheduled to begin August 3, but many experts believe that, too, will be postponed.

Former minister al-Adly has already been convicted of corruption and sentenced to 12 years in prison.  As he left the court Monday in a police convoy, protesters pelted the vehicles with stones.

Both he and Mubarak are accused of murder for allegedly ordering the police to fire on demonstrators during the 18-day uprising in January and February, when hundreds of people were killed.

Tarek El-Khouly, a spokesman for one of the leading activist groups, the April 6th Movement, accused the court of acting just like Egyptian courts did during the 30-year Mubarak era - taking its orders from the top, now the ruling military council.

El-Khouly says the activists want to know the reasons for the postponement because such trials are crucial to the success of the revolution and the future of the country.  He called for al-Adly, Mubarak and other high-profile defendants to be treated just like all others accused of crimes.

Still, just seeing the once powerful interior minister and six of his top aides in prison uniforms behind bars in the defendants’ box of a courtroom met one of the protesters’ demands.  They have called for open trials, and some have complained they have not seen key former officials since they were arrested.

Mubarak had been under house arrest in his home in the Red Sea resort town of Sharm El-Sheikh, and has been in a hospital there since April.  There are indications his trial may be held in that relatively remote town, five hours drive from Cairo, rather than in the capital.

Many observers speculate the Mubarak trial will be postponed due to his reportedly poor health, and also because Egypt’s current military rulers do not want to humiliate their former boss.

In addition, the trial is scheduled to start during the Islamic Holy Month of Ramadan, when observant Muslims fast during daylight hours.  During Ramadan, relatively little work gets done, particularly when it falls during the hot summer months as it does this year.

The delay of the al-Adly trial, and the possible delay of the Mubarak trial, will likely further anger activists, and could exacerbate the splits that are emerging among protest groups.

An incident Saturday night, when protesters led by the April 6th movement were attacked by government supporters while policemen and soldiers stood by, resulted in harsh rhetoric from both sides, and sniping from some other activist groups.  One Islamist group accused April 6th of inciting the violence.

The Egyptian Center for Human Rights called on the military council to be more responsive to protesters’ demands, and called on the various activist groups to stop trying to undermine each other.

You May Like

Republican Majority in Congress Off to Rough Start

Standoff over Homeland Security funding exposes philosophical, tactical problems within party More

Pakistan Blocks Baloch Activist from US Trip

Human Rights Commission of Pakistan slams Islamabad officials for stopping people from leaving country to attend human rights conference More

Video Muslims Long Thrived in North Carolina Before Students Killed

Idyll shattered February 10, when three Muslim university students living in Chapel Hill were gunned down by a neighbor More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Muslims Long Thrived in N Carolina Before Slaying of 3 Studentsi
X
Jerome Socolovsky
March 05, 2015 9:04 PM
The killings of three Muslim students in North Carolina early last month came as Muslims across the United States have felt under siege, partly as a result of terrorist attacks being committed internationally in the name of their faith. But Muslims have long thrived in university cities in this part of the American South. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Muslims Long Thrived in N Carolina Before Slaying of 3 Students

The killings of three Muslim students in North Carolina early last month came as Muslims across the United States have felt under siege, partly as a result of terrorist attacks being committed internationally in the name of their faith. But Muslims have long thrived in university cities in this part of the American South. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Fuel Shortages in Nigeria Threaten Election Campaigns

Nigeria is suffering a gas shortage as the falling oil price has affected the country’s ability to import and distribute refined fuels. Coming just weeks before scheduled March 28 elections, the shortage could have a big impact on the campaign, as Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA.
Video

Video Report: Human Rights in Annexed Crimea Deteriorating

A new report by Freedom House and the Atlantic Council of the United States says the human rights situation in Crimea has deteriorated since the peninsula was annexed by Russia in March of last year. The report says the new authorities in Crimea are discriminating against minorities, suppressing freedom of expression, and forcing residents to assume Russian citizenship or leave. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video 50 Years Later African-Americans See New Voting Rights Battles Ahead

Thousands of people will gather to mark the 50th anniversary of a historic civil rights march on March 7th in Selma, Alabama. In 1965, dozens of people were seriously injured during the event known as “Bloody Sunday,” after police attacked African-American demonstrators demanding voting rights. VOA’s Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights pioneers who are still fighting for voting rights in Alabama more than 50 years later.
Video

Video Craft Brewers Taking Hold in US Beer Market

Since the 1950’s, the U.S. beer industry has been dominated by a handful of huge breweries. But in recent years, the rapid rise of small craft breweries has changed the American market and, arguably, the way people drink beer. VOA’s Jeff Custer reports.
Video

Video Video Claims to Show Shia Forces in Iraq Executing Sunni Boy

A graphic mobile phone video is spreading on the Internet, claiming to show Iraqi forces or Shia militia executing a handcuffed Sunni boy. Experts have yet to verify the video, but already Islamic State followers are publicizing it across social media, playing on deep-rooted sectarian fears. VOA’s Jeff Seldin reports.
Video

Video Ukrainian Authorities Struggle to Secure a Divided Mariupol

Since last month's cease-fire went into effect, shelling around the port city of Mariupol has decreased, but it is thought pro-Russian separatists remain poised to attack. For the city’s authorities, a major challenge is gaining the trust of residents, while at the same time rooting out informants who are passing sensitive information to the rebels. Patrick Wells reports for VOA.
Video

Video Volunteer Gauge-Watchers Help Fine-Tune Weather Science

An observation system called CoCoRaHS is working to improve weather science, thanks to thousands of volunteers across the country who measure precipitation in their own backyards, then share their data through the Internet. VOA's Shelley Schlender reports.
Video

Video NASA Spacecraft Approaches a Dwarf Planet

NASA’s Dawn spacecraft will make history on Friday, March 6, when it becomes the first man-made object to orbit a dwarf planet named Ceres. It is located in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, almost 500 million kilometers from Earth. Among other objectives, Dawn will try to examine two mysterious bright white spots detected on the planet’s surface. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Muslims Radicalized Online

Young Muslims are being radicalized ‘in their bedrooms’ through direct contact with Islamic State or ISIL fighters via the Internet, according to terror experts. There are growing concerns that authorities and Internet providers are not doing enough to counter online extremism - which analysts say is spread by a prolific network of online supporters around the world. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Positive Messaging Transforms Ethiopia's Image

Ethiopia was once known for famine and droughts. Now, headlines more often point to its fast-growing economy and its emergence as a regional peacemaker. How has Addis Ababa changed the narrative? VOA's Marthe van der Wolf reports.
Video

Video Answers Elude Families of MH370 Passengers

For the families on board Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, an airline official’s statement nearly one year ago that the plane had lost contact with air traffic control at 2:40 AM is the only thing that remains confirmed. William Ide reports.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More