Eminent Egyptian political scientist Prof. Emad Shahin has been charged with conspiring with foreign organizations to undermine Egypt’s national security by Egyptian authorities. He is listed as Defendant number 33 in a lengthy criminal complaint which includes several senior leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood and also former President Mohamed Morsi. Prof. Shahin has received PhD from the Johns Hopkins University (SAIS) and has been a faculty member at prominent universities in the US, Egypt, and the Middle East, including the American University in Cairo, Harvard, Georgetown, Notre Dame, George Washington, and Boston Universities. Among his important contributions is his edited Oxford Encyclopaedia of Islam and Politics.
In its campaign against freedom of speech and political activities, the military installed authority has also charged Dr. Amr Hamzawy a liberal political scientist and former lawmaker, with the crime of insulting the judiciary. Both academicians of international repute have always been among the few public critics of the bloody crackdown on Mr. Morsi’s Islamist supporters after the military takeover and also were fiercely critical of former president Muhammad Morsi and the Brotherhood while they were in power.
Prof. Emad Shahin has issued his statement on these charges
“I categorically and emphatically deny all the charges, and I challenge the State Security Prosecutor to present real evidence to substantiate these fabricated charges. I am an academic and have been independent throughout my life. I am an advocate for democracy, the rule of law, human rights, and a fervent supporter of the main objectives of the January 25 Revolution in Egypt, namely freedom, dignity, and social justice. For the record, I definitively state that I have never been a member of the Society of the Muslim Brothers at any point in my life, and I have never provided it with any financial or material support as alleged in the so-called indictment.”
(statement can be accessed here : http://www.jadaliyya.com/pages/index/16151/statement-by-emad-shahin-in-response-to-egyptian-s )
The interim government has already arrested some 30000 political activists, leaders on political charges. Around 1000 were killed in a brutal crackdown against a peaceful protest at Raba’a Al Adawiya square in August 2013 which has not yet been investigated. International media has showed painful images of 19 young school girls who were sentenced 7 year jail terms for supporting a political party; the case was later on withdrawn after worldwide condemnation. Journalists from Al Jazeera TV have also been arrested and charged with draconian laws which has also been condemned by all media watch groups and human right organizations. It is clearly observed that current Egyptian authorities are not crushing only Muslim Brotherhood but entire political opposition in order to bring back military rule once again. Recent constitutional referendum has brought no hopes except more arrests and blatant use of violence against political activists. Youth icons of 25 January revolution mainly members of 6 April Movement have been thrown in jails.
At this stage, academicians, students, civil society members, media and right activists from India express their concerns over return of repressive practices in Egypt. We express our solidarity with Dr. Emad Shahin and all academicians, media persons and political activists who have been charged or arrested under politically motivated charges.
We demand Egyptian authorities to
- Drop all charges against Dr. Emad Shahin and all academicians, journalists and human right activists.
- End the security and media campaign against those who peacefully oppose the actions of the interim government and the military,
- Release all opposition group members, supporters, and activists now jailed on politically motivated charges and allow all citizens to participate in political life
- End the use of live ammunition to disperse protesters, which has resulted in the deaths of hundreds of unarmed demonstrators
- Drop investigations and lawsuits launched against youth activists, former members of parliament, journalists, and academics for peaceful activity protected by international human rights treaties to which Egypt is a signatory
- Ensure democratic transition which is inclusive of all political forces in Egypt
Egypt Solidarity Forum, New Delhi
Jawaharlal Nehru University
This piece was originally posted on Egypt Solidarity Forum