Source: Pomed – Project On Middle East Democracy
Author(s): Mohamed El-Ansary
- The Office of the Public Prosecution, a powerful entity within the Egyptian judiciary, has been a driving force in the vast crackdown on dissent that has unfolded since the overthrow of President Mohamed Morsi in July 2013.
- In theory, the Public Prosecution is an independent, impartial institution, defending the rights of all Egyptians before the law. In practice, it has used a variety of tactics to target those whom the regime considers enemies of the state, including opposition groups, human rights defenders, journalists, students, and other dissenting or critical voices.
- The Public Prosecution often brings criminal charges based on flawed evidence, including defective evidence and “confessions” obtained through torture and ill-treatment; such “evidence” has been used to convict innocent people.
- The Public Prosecution has played a key role in the forced resignation of dozens of independent judges, and has abused legal provisions for pretrial detention to keep thousands of citizens locked up unfairly, in many cases exceeding legal limits.
- The Public Prosecution generally has failed to pursue credible allegations of wrongdoing by police, security agencies, and other “protected groups.”
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