Tuesday, August 20th, 2013
Australians must show moral integrity by rejecting the destruction of democracy in Egypt and extreme breaches of human rights, says spokesperson Adel Salman of Australians for Democracy in Egypt (ADE). The situation is simple. Democratic leaders are elected. Military dictators take power by force.

"It is a tragedy that Egypt's first democratically elected leader in modern times has been removed by the military," he says. "It hardly needs to be explained that this invalidates democracy. Imagine if the military decided to remove an elected leader of Australia just because people did not like the policies? It would be seen as the end of democracy. Why is it any different for Egypt?"

Mr Salman says an essential feature of democracy is that everybody agrees to its rules, even if they do not like what the leadership is doing. "Do Americans think it is alright to remove president Obama because they do not like him? There have been questions about President Morsi's policies, which has been used as justification for removing him. But the crime of removing him is far in excess of any problems that he may have created. To correct a small problem, the military has completely undermined democracy. Is this going to happen whenever a leader does something unpopular? It is the worst kind of mob rule."

ADHRE rejects the military coup that took place on July 3 2013, and calls for:

  •     Respect of basic Human Rights and the immediate cessation of violence by the military and security forces against peaceful protestors.
  •     People and governments all over the civilised world to condemn the military coup.
  •     The reinstatement of the popularly endorsed Constitution.
  •     The return of the legitimate President of Egypt and the implementation of Constitutional mechanisms that existed prior to July 3 to resolve the political crisis. Further, ADE calls upon President Morsi to respond to widespread concerns by conducting a referendum on his presidency.
  •     The immediate release of all political prisoners detained since the military coup.
  •     An end to incitement against any group by those in the media and positions of authority.
  •     An immediate end to attacks upon all places of worship.
  •     A thorough investigation by an impartial judicial body into the killing and injuring of peaceful protestors since the military coup, and a holding to account of all those responsible for crimes committed.

"None of these things can exist when the military is killing people for seeking their democratic right," says Mr Salman. "Democracy in Egypt cannot be achieved if the military overthrow of a legitimately elected President is allowed to stand, and the right of people to peacefully protest is violently suppressed."

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