Al-Sisi Regime Imposes Death Sentences on Muslim Brotherhood and Morsi
No to the death sentences! Abolish the death penalty!
On Tuesday, June 16th, an Egyptian court of the al-Sisi regime upheld the death sentences of deposed Egyptian President Morsi along with about 100 other Muslim Brotherhood supporters. Twenty one others were given life sentences. 90 others were given death sentences in abstentia. The “legality” of these sentences was upheld by the supreme religious authority, the Grand Mufti of Egypt. Nevertheless, we see these sentences and the conduct of the trials themselves as macabre political theater. It is possible that these grisly sentences will not be carried out because if there is one thing we know about the al- Sisi regime, it is sensitivity to the sensibilities of its backers, principally the U.S. and the EU (although China’s influence in Egypt is growing fast and in line with their desire to accept no criticism about their own human rights record, the Xi government is not likely to comment on al-Sisi’s troubles.) And troubles he has.
Al-Sisi and the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) need the diversion of political theater as much as they need repression of opponents. That the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) trials get all the headlines has to do with foreign consumption of the SCAF’s charge that the Muslim Brotherhood, only recently their partners in the state, are a “terrorist organization.” What the show trials cover for is the catastrophic economic performance of the military clique as a government. Daily News Egypt reported a balance of trade deficit of 26.7 billion Egyptian pounds for the month of March, an increase of 10.9% over March, 2015.
The CWG-US calls for the repeal of the sentences and for the immediate release of all Egyptian political prisoners. Morsi was tried and convicted by the wrong class and for the wrong reasons. The first of his death sentences is for his 2011 jail break, which never bothered the SCAF while Morsi was running for office or ruling as president with their blessing. It was only when the masses rejected rule by the Muslim Brotherhood that the SCAF decided to discover him as a criminal and to criminalize his government. We have no love of the MB and neither do we support any Islamist organization. But we see the headline trials camouflaging the wholesale attack on the trade union movement and its legal rights along with workers’ political organizations, whose leaders have been fighting the Protest Law and the draconian Article 77, which has been the basis of these trials.
SCAF has been the real power since 1952. Now and at various times in the past they have ruled by fear and they find it necessary to the return to this police state-type domestic regime as they display their economic ineptitude, which is multiplying the effects of the global capitalist crisis. Their great value to imperialism and the basis of the support they continue to enjoy is the rampart they provide against the Arab Revolution. Now in its fourth year of resumption, threatening to go permanent as a social layer of worker youth realize that the SCAF is the last bourgeois obstacle to the socialist revolution.
Among the charges against Morsi are the killings of protesters in 2012, which is ironic in the extreme, given that the self- same state forces that are trying Morsi carried out his commands and performed all the killing. We think only workers tribunals have a genuine right to investigate and pass judgement on who was responsible for the murders of everyday Egyptian people, workers and the urban poor. These tribunals would try the SCAF as well as Morsi and their entire suites of accomplices and all the monsters of the bourgeois regime. In the face of this massive repression workers need to organize their action committees and workers councils and militias on an underground basis in the present conjuncture, but we should remember the January/February 2011 experience and how quickly the political situation can change and Egyptian workers should prepare both to cope with the present misfortune and tomorrow’s revolutionary opportunities.
The Communist Workers Group stands for class political independence from all bourgeois forces in Egypt as elsewhere. We say today’s class-in-itself organizations must crystalize and produce class-for-itself revolutionary Marxist organizations. And such parties must come together and build a new workers international to fight the class enemy and drive them from power and abolish their system of wage-slavery on every continent.
- For international labor solidarity in action to defend Egyptian workers!
- Defend freedom of assembly, the press and self-expression!
- Defend the right to strike! Organize the unorganized!
- Build factory workplace and neighborhood action committees!
- Build a revolutionary Leninist workers party!
- Victory to the Arab Revolution!
- For Permanent Revolution in the Near East!