[JURIST] Twenty-six men suspected both of plotting numerous attacks in Egypt [government website; JURIST news archive] and of having links to Hezbollah [JURIST news archive] were transferred Sunday to an emergency state court that deals specifically with terrorism and state security. Four of the men remain at large, among them group leader Mohammed Qubyan. In April, Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah claimed that one of those detained, Mohammed Yusef Mansur, was a Hezbollah agent tasked with smuggling weapons into Palestine [Middle East Online report].
In February, Egypt made notable use of its emergency laws [EOHR backgrounder] and courts when it sentenced opposition leader Magdy Ahmed Hussein to two years in prison following a trial carried out under the laws that have been in effect since the 1981 assassination of Egyptian President Anwar Sadat and were renewed [JURIST report] in May 2008. Human Rights Watch [advocacy website] sharply criticized the renewal [JURIST report], saying the move showed "contempt for the rule of law." Egypt has used security courts extensively against members of the Muslim Brotherhood [party website; JURIST news archive].