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Rights groups call for fair trial for former Egyptian president Mubarak


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Rights groups call for fair trial for former Egyptian president Mubarak

2011-08-03 17:22:10 GMT+7 (ICT)

CAIRO (BNO NEWS) -- Rights groups have called for a fair and transparent trial for ousted Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak as the highly anticipated event began on Wednesday morning.

The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) condemned the lack of transparency after the families of those killed during the uprising and their lawyers were reportedly banned from the court where the trial began on Wednesday. It said in a statement that the Cairo Court of Appeal has been "dubious and non-transparent" about the trials of Mubarak and his sons Alaa and Gamal.

The ANHRI explained that it had submitted papers to the court to attend the trials as it represents 16 victims' families, but the rights group was reportedly refused permission to attend by the Court of Appeal. 

According to the state press center, journalists and lawyers of victims will not be allowed in court to attend the Mubarak trials. Only ten foreign media representatives will be allowed in court and the others will view the trial on a screen that will be set up outside the court.

Amnesty International welcomed the judge's decision to agree to live TV broadcasting of the trial, but also urged the court to ensure that those attempting to attend the hearings are not mistreated. "The authorities must ensure that the security forces do not resort to excessive force to deny access to the trial proceedings," said Malcolm Smart, Amnesty International's Director for the Middle East and North Africa.

The London-based rights group added that the trial "must be fair, transparent and reveal the full truth about unlawful killings of anti-government protesters." Mubarak, former Interior Minister Habib Ibrahim El Adly and six other former senior officials are due to go on trial in Cairo for allegedly ordering the killing of anti-government protesters during the January 25 Revolution. If convicted, they could face the death penalty.

According to Amnesty International, at least 840 people were killed and over 6,000 people were injured in the violent repression that took place during the January uprising that led to the ouster of Mubarak, who ruled Egypt in a 30-year-long regime. He now stands trial for corruption and murder charges.

Protesters have previously been demanding the prosecution of those responsible for the killings of peaceful protesters. In July, families of the victims and activists returned to Tahrir Square, where the uprising took place, to demand that the military authorities and caretaker government speed up the trial process.

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-- © BNO News All rights reserved 2011-08-03

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