Military trials for civilians will never protect the state against terrorism, the Revolutionary Socialists said on Saturday.
The group called on all the “believers in revolutionary demands” to take a stand against allowing military trials for civilians in the new constitution.
“Military trials for civilians will remain one of the military’s means of stopping and fighting the revolution,” the statement read. “It will remain a tool for the army to expand and secure its investments.”
The Revolutionary Socialists criticised Article 198 of the suspended 2012 constitution. The article banned military trials of civilians except in cases which “harm the armed forces”. The article constitutionally founded military trials for civilians in a manner which was absent in the previous 1971 constitution.
The group pointed out that, despite suspending the 2012 constitution, the military continues to refer civilians to military trials and push for keeping the said article in the new constitution.
Sinai-based journalist Ahmed Abu Deraa was served on 5 October a suspended sentence of six months in prison and an EGP 200 fine by a military court in Ismailia. Abu Deraa was arrested on 4 September and charged with intentionally spreading false information about the military.
On 30 October, another journalist was sentenced by a military court to one year in prison. Hatem Abul Nour, who works for the private newspaper Al-Watan, was sentenced for reportedly impersonating the army, AFP reported.
The Revolutionary Socialists held a protest with other movements outside the Shura Council building on Saturday calling for the abolishment of military trials for civilians. Other protesting groups included No Military Trials and the 6 April movement (Democratic Front).
The status of military trials for civilians in the new constitution is yet to be decided. The 50-member Constituent Assembly, tasked with amending the 2012 constitution, is expected to be done with the amendments on 3 December.