FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
National Lawyers Guild-New York City Chapter (NLG-NYC) Muslim Defense Committee Commemorates the Anniversary of the Egyptian Revolution and the Ongoing Struggle of the People of Egypt
NLG-NYC Muslim Defense Committee demands the end of U.S. aid to the Egyptian military
NEW YORK (January 25, 2012) – Today marks the one-year anniversary of the Egyptian revolution, the popular challenge that ousted former President Hosni Mubarak from his thirty-years of brutal dictatorship. The revolution inspired and sparked other democratic uprisings throughout the globe, including the Occupy movement. We commemorate and honor our Egyptian brothers and sisters for this once seemingly impossible feat, and stand in solidarity with their ongoing struggle for democracy and human rights in Egypt. Since the revolution began one year ago, hundreds of Egyptians have been violently killed and thousands wounded at the hands of Egypt’s military, the Supreme Council of Armed Forces (SCAF). The Egyptian military, once seen as supportive of the revolution has now revealed its true colors as it attempts to undermine the people’s movement through secret decision-making, violent crackdowns on the civilian population using prohibited weapons – such as U.S. made torture tools – against peaceful protesters, continuance of military tribunals for civilians, kidnapping of revolutionaries, and refusal to cede power to the people.
As U.S. lawyers, legal workers, and activists, we condemn the U.S. government’s financing of the Egyptian military, through monetary aid as well as the sale of weapons used against peaceful protesters. We call on the U.S. government to immediately cease all exports to Egypt of U.S. made tear gas, weapons and torture tools used by the Egyptian military against peaceful Egyptian protesters.
The erosion of democracy in Egypt mirrors our own. The recent passage of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) empowers our armed forces to enter in civilian law enforcement and selectively suspend both due process and habeas corpus for terror suspects, including U.S. citizens, captured on U.S. soil even outside of an armed conflict zone. It is no coincidence that President Obama would sign such a law here while maintaining military and financial support of the Egyptian military who also rob their people of their most basic rights through indefinite detention and torture. As we see the ever shrinking democracy in our own country, we stand alongside our Egyptian brothers and sisters in fighting to reclaim our most basic human rights and freedoms.
The National Lawyers Guild, founded in 1937, is the oldest and largest public interest/human rights bar organization in the United States. Its headquarters are in New York and it has chapters in every state.
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