On Sunday 38 detainees were killed during a transfer by Junta authorities to Abu Zaabal prison outside Cairo. The Egypt International Crimes Investigation Team (EICIT) will this week ask for access to the personnel present when the detained civilian protestors were being transferred.
The EICI, which was established by the FJP and members of the Shura council, has expressed its concern that the violence in Egypt continues to escalate and the number of people killed continues to rise.
Tayab Ali, the lawyer coordinating the EICI said ‘Detained protestors are in the most vulnerable position as they are unarmed and entirely under the control of the new coup government. I am directing the team to gather evidence to establish exactly what happened during this transfer. The failure of the coup government to safely transfer civilian detainees is of great concern and brings into question the how other detainees are being treated’.
The EICI will request access to civilian members of the coup government to establish whether or not criminal proceedings should be brought against them.
Tayab Ali said ‘When international crimes occur it is not just the military that can be held responsible. Our investigation extends to all those in command and control of the coup government including the military’s installed President, Vice President, Interior Minister and Foreign Minister, as well as other civilian participants’.
The Egyptian coup government has launched a PR campaign which appears to be aimed at distracting the domestic and international community from its use of violence against civilians. TV stations airing in Egypt are displaying slogans in English which categorise the use of violence against protestors as attempts to deal with ‘terrorism’. In addition, Egypt’s ON TV is providing simultaneous news broadcasts in English clearly aimed at an international audience.
Tayab said of the media campaign ‘No matter how the Junta spin their ferocious use of violence and try to hide it behind a PR campaign the Military, police and in particular the civilian members of the coup government should remember that the UK courts issued an arrest warrant for the then Foreign Minister of Israel, Tzipi Livni, for her alleged role in war crimes during Israel’s Operation Cast Lead. Israel’s PR machine did not stop the crimes being seen for what they were’.
The EICI is the Egypt International Crimes Team and includes prominent lawyers, Lord Ken Macdonald QC, Professor John Dugard SC, Mike Mansfield QC. The team is being coordinated by Tayab Ali.
The EICI was established by Egypt’s Freedom and Justice Party and members of the Shura Council of Egypt which is Egypt’s second parliamentary house.
ITN solicitors are a leading Criminal and Human Rights law firm based in London. Further details at www.itnsolicitors.com
Tayab Ali is solicitor advocate and partner at ITN Solicitors www.itnsolicitors.com
Lord Ken Macdonald QC is a barrister at Matrix Chambers www.matrixlaw.co.uk
Michael Mansfield QC is a barrister and head of Tooks Chambers www.tooks.co.uk
Professor John Dugard is a door tenant at 20 Essex Street Chambers www.20essexst.com
Contact at ITN Solicitors:
Tayab Ali 020 8522 7707; firstname.lastname@example.org
For interviews or further comment contact
Tooks Court 020 7842 7575 for Michael Mansfield QC
Itpal Dhillon (ITN Solicitors) 020 8522 7707 for Professor John Duga