Friday Prayers for Egypt: Judicial Independence

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Not one conviction was levied against those who killed protestors during the January 25 revolution. This fact is still not yet fully explained, but raised questions of whether or not Egypt’s judicial system functions independently of the powers-that-be.

These questions continue today. But this week a few Muslim Brotherhood members were found innocent of certain minor charges. More significantly, an officer was given a ten year sentence when 37 detainees from the pro-Morsi sit-ins were killed inside a police van. It may be that the law is blind.

The coming months will demonstrate. The president referred the fact-finding report from the sit-in dispersal to the judiciary, with its accusations of ‘excess force’. More serious trials against Muslim Brotherhood members continue. Will they judge impartially?

God, you know where justice lies; men make at best approximations. But may those of the judiciary be men of conscience. May they weigh the evidence and act accordingly. May they remember they hold the life of fellow human beings in their hands.

For the weight of accusation is against them, no matter how many are upright. The Judge’s Club has been called financially corrupt by the nation’s top auditor. The onus of revolutionary killings lingers. And while some detained sit in prison for months without trial, others are convicted straightaway. Many view judges as politicized, at the least.

What can be prayed for, God, but the above? The judiciary is but one of many state institutions that is still in flux since the revolution. Purge it from all impropriety. Make transparent its proceedings. Let the people trust its arbitration.

Through them or otherwise, God, bring justice to Egypt. Justice for victims of these transitional years. Justice for victims of the old regime. Justice against all who have manipulated the system for their own benefit.

Through them or otherwise, God, but may it be through them. May Egypt, and its judiciary, be fully independent.


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