Egypt: “Honouring some army leaders” law – when immunity leads to impunity

Alerts, Egypt, Justice and the Rule of Law

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Press Release

17 July 2018

EuroMed Rights deeply regrets the Egyptian Parliament’s approval yesterday of a controversial law that will allow the President to grant immunity to high-ranking military officials of his choice who served in the transitional period of suspension of the Constitution in June 2013 until the Parliament convened in January 2016.

Article 6 of the law constitutes a clear attempt to circumvent international law as it states that selected army officers “shall be guaranteed immunity enjoyed by heads and members of diplomatic missions while they are abroad”.

According to article 5 of the law, army officers chosen by President al-Sisi will be granted immunity from judicial prosecution for any acts they perpetrated during their service in the period mentioned above, unless permission is granted by the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF), which effectively guarantees that no accountability will be sought.

The timeframe covered by the law includes the shooting in front of the Republican Guards headquarters in July 2013 as well as the dispersal of both Raba’a and Nahda sit-ins, which took place in August of the same year. This summer will mark the five-year anniversary of these killings and no accountability has been brought for what constitutes possible crimes against humanity.