Mubarak Trial Marks Important Symbolic Moment, But Must Not Distract From the Need for Reform

Washington, DC – As Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak’s trial began today in Cairo, Human Rights First’s Neil Hicks issued the following statement: “Hosni Mubarak’s trial is an important symbolic moment in Egypt’s transition to democracy, but it should not distract attention from the many vital reforms that Egypt must enact in order to put repression into its past. While leaders who abused their power should be brought to account, it is even more important to put in place safeguards that can lessen the possibility of a return to authoritarian rule.” “Egypt must hold credible free and fair parliamentary elections in November. To this end, Egypt’s leaders should reconsider their objections to international observers monitoring the elections, which will be the largest and most important in Egypt’s history.” “The military should send a clear signal that it will relinquish its exceptional powers and privileges in a democratic Egypt by operating under a transparent budget and being publicly accountable to elected civilian authorities. The military should also immediately discontinue its practice of trying civilians before military courts and review the convictions of those who have already been tried in these venues.” “To move forward with democratic transition Egypt needs comprehensive reforms over a sustained period of months and years. Bringing the former president to trial is only one step on that path.”


Published on August 3, 2011


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