Monday, March 28, 2011

Rights activists urge trial for Mubarak

Demonstrators hold placards and shout slogans against former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak during the 25 January revolution. (file photo)

Source: Press TV

A report by a fact-finding committee probing the killings during the Egyptian revolution has been censured for failing to declare a trial for the former President Hosni Mubarak.

The National Council for Human Rights and the Egyptian Organization for Human Rights stated in its report that Mubarak, as the head of the government, was responsible for the deaths of protesters in January, but did not recommend that the former president should stand trial, the Al-Masry Al-Youm daily reported on Sunday.

The committee earlier accused former Interior Minister Habib al-Adli of ordering police to open fire at demonstrators.

More than 380 protesters were killed during the demonstrations which kicked off on Jan. 25 and ended by forcing Mubarak to abandon power on Feb. 11.

Thousands of demonstrators were also injured during the protests when police forces fired rubber bullets, live ammunition, water cannon and tear gas at peaceful protesters.

Meanwhile, experts and human rights activists have seethed at the report, arguing that Mubarak himself bears criminal responsibility and should be brought to justice.

The report avoided any reference to bringing Mubarak to trial if proven guilty, said Abdel Halim Qandil, former coordinator for the oppositional Kefaya movement, adding that the move is aimed at protecting the former president from potential lawsuits.

Qnadil went on to impugn the public prosecutors' slowness in beginning investigations into Mubarak's criminal conduct as the head of state.

Sameh Ashour, vice president of the Nasserist Party, also voiced similar concerns, saying conducting probes into criminal aspects of the responsibility for the killings precedes the political responsibility for security policies -- which Mubarak shares with former minister of interior Habib al-Adly.

If it is proved that Mubarak gave orders to fire at protesters, he will share criminal responsibility and the punishment would be the death penalty, he said.

A number of high-ranking police officers are currently held and being questioned over ordering the killing of protesters during the revolution against Mubarak.

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