The first one hundred days following former president Mohamed Morsi’s ouster and the interim presidency of Adly Mansour have been characterised by “the absence of justice and rule of law,” according to rights group the Arab Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI).
A report issued by the group on Sunday outlined the interim government’s failure to implement the rule of law, providing five sections focusing on oppressive legislations and decisions hostile to freedom, “justice-wasting procedures,” oppressive police practices, lack of transparency and information, and double standards manifesting in inequality before the law. The report held Minister of Justice Adel Abdel Hameed responsible for oppressive legislation, accusing him of “wasting judicial independence” during former president Hosni Mubarak’s rule and the tenure of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces in 2011.
ANHRI called a decision by interim President Adly Mansour to extend pre-trial detentions “an assault on human dignity” and oppressive measure against citizens under investigations who had still not began standing trial.
The group also decried a proposed “anti-terrorism” bill and a potential law that would provide restrictions to demonstrations. ANHRI also criticised the imposing of the state of emergency on 14 August following the dispersal of sit-ins at Rabaa Al-Adaweya and Nahda Square, saying that emergency law “had governed Egypt for 30 years without succeeding in eliminating terrorism and was used to suppress all opposition forces” and was “one of the reasons for the outbreak of the 25 January Revolution.”
The rights group additionally highlighted ongoing military trials, saying that the Brotherhood had enshrined them in the 2012 constitution, only for civilians standing before military tribunals to continue following 30 June and Morsi’s ouster.
The report also called the detention of Morsi in an undisclosed location a “blatant assault on the rights and guarantees of the accused.” The former president was detained on 3 July and is currently being held by the military in an undisclosed location pending his upcoming trial on 4 November.
“The role of the police did not differ from the Mubarak era, [SCAF], or under Morsi, when there was excessive use of force,” said ANHRI, which cited the sit-in dispersals and clashes on 6 October.
ANHRI included a long list of testimonies and instances of extralegal means being used against activists, protesters and other civilians to detain them and prosecute them. The report also included examples of excessive use of force and torture by police. The pro-Morsi sit-in at Rabaa Al-Adaweya, said ANHRI, was home to offenses against journalists and attacks on others in the area, but added that the excessive use of force was a “breach of international standards…which led to a huge number of dead and injured.”
ANHRI also accused the government and the public prosecutor of demonstrating bias when sending fact finding committees, showing preference to instances in which the Muslim Brotherhood had been accused of violence. “The double standard is one of the most dangerous traits of the Egyptian justice apparatus,” said the report, listing bias investigations that took place for violence at Rabaa Al-Adaweya, Al-Manassa, and the Republican Guards Club.