In Egypt, no accountability in sight

Since his inauguration, president Morsi does not miss any chance to pay a lip service to the Revolution and its goals. Despite promising justice to the martyr’s families, the raïs has done nothing so far to achieve it. He created a fact-finding committee to study the crimes committed during the Revolution a few months ago. But not much was heard of that commission until last week, when the British newspaper The Guardian leaked some juicy extracts.

The report includes evidences that the army committed several crimes during the 18 days of the showdown between Mubarak and demonstrators in Tahrir, such as torture and extra judicial killings. One of the most gruesome details is that army doctors were ordered to operate on injured protesters without anaesthesia.

The article contradicts the official version of the Revolution given by the SCAF, the military junta that took over the country after Mubarak’s resignation  According to this account, the Army Forces took a neutral role during the first days of the Revolution, protecting the revolutionaries in Tahrir, and they finally sided with them enabling the success of the revolt.

In a country where criticizing the army is still considered a red line, the Guardian’s leak has been reported by Egyptian press, but not in the front pages. The Prosecutor General, Talaat Abdallah claimed that the leaks were misleading, and that it only “had intimations that could not be interpreted as evidence”.

However, the fact that the document is not public is suspicious, especially given that most analysts think that there was a deal between the army and the Muslim Brotherhood by which the latter would be allowed to take the presidency in exchange for not prosecuting the crimes committed by the Armed Forces.

In any case, it is clear that one of the big failures of the Revolution has been the inability of the new authorities to design a scheme to deal with the so-called “transitional justice”. The ordinary courts have been tasked to resolve these issues without the proper resources and authority. The result has been the acquittal of most security officials charged.

Even the most high-profile trial, that of former dictator Hosni Mubarak, has experienced these shortcomings. The verdict was declared void by the Appeals Court in January and the judge assigned to preside over the new process has just recused himself, plunging the trial into a sea of uncertainty and rumours.

One of the main reasons for the lack of progress in post-revolutionary Egypt is the inability of opposition forces to the Mubarak regime to reach any kind of agreement on substantial issues. Unfortunately, in Egypt, there is no accountability in sight.

 

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