Mubarak makes a good argument

Mubarak is back in a court:

Mubarak told the court that the uprising had been “infiltrated” by Islamists, and blamed them and their “local and foreign supporters” for causing the outbreak of violence — part of a pattern of statements by him and former top officials to reshape the narrative of the uprising. Earlier this week, his former interior minister, Habib Adli, said the 2011 revolution grew out of a “conspiracy” in which the United States took part.

The ex-president was previously convicted and sentenced to life in prison in connection with demonstrators’ deaths, but then won a retrial. A verdict is expected at the end of next month.

That’s an argument that should go over well with the current rulers of Egypt:

The allegations echo charges that Egypt has used to jail or sentence dozens of activists, aid workers, journalists and opposition figures in an escalating crackdown on political dissent.

Human Rights Watch “does not enjoy any legal status that may allow it to operate in Egypt,” the government said in a statement responding to the report. “Conducting investigations, collecting evidence and interviewing witnesses without any legal backing are activities that constitute a flagrant violation of state sovereignty under international law,” the statement added. It called the report a “flagrant intervention in the work of the national investigative and judicial authorities, and an attempt to impinge upon the independence and integrity of the Egyptian judiciary.”

The government also said that Human Rights Watch had issued the report “in parallel with dubious moves by the terrorist organization and its supporters” — a reference to the Muslim Brotherhood, the Islamist group that sponsored Mohamed Morsi, the ousted Egyptian president — “with a view to carrying out further acts of violence and terrorism against the Egyptian state and innocent civilians.”

That would be in response to a report that documented

According to Human Rights Watch, Egyptian authorities presided over “one of the world’s largest killings of demonstrators in a single day in recent history” when they unleashed security forces to disperse two large pro-Morsi protest camps in Cairo on Aug. 14, 2013, leaving about 900 people dead.

Among the inquiry’s key findings — based on on-site investigations, video footage, government statements and interviews with more than 200 witnesses — is that the deaths of more than 1,000 protesters in six incidents from July 5 to Aug. 16, 2013, were part of a government policy “to attack unarmed persons on political grounds” and that they therefore “constitute crimes against humanity,” Human Rights Watch said.

I assume Mubarak will win the case.

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