Retribution to the martyrs of the Revolution is one of the core demands of Egypt's 2011 Revolution. Almost three years later, this demand is yet to be fulfilled. The purpose of this paper is not to prove the existence of impunity in Egypt but rather to propose an analytical framework that can show how the Egyptian legal system perpetuates impunity. I examine two case studies: the Maspero massacre and Ramlat Boulaq protests. I argue that impunity is multi-dimensional, and accordingly I define two dimensions for analysis of the cases: strategic and structural dimensions of impunity. Strategic impunity is defined as ad-hoc measures taken by the authorities to derail processes of accountability or demands for truth and justice, and structural impunity is defined as inherent, structural traits of the legal system that prevent successful prosecutions of human rights violations. In the final chapter, I examine some measures taken by the authorities' for legislative and security sector reforms. Through this examination, I highlight their lack of political will to break the cycle of impunity. In contrast, I analyze a proposal made by the “Police for Egypt” initiative for security sector reform and transitional justice. I conclude that maintaining the Egyptian legal system as it is will continue to result in impunity for human rights violations.
MA in International Human Rights Law
Date of Award
Online Submission Date
Committee Member 1
Committee Member 2
Library of Congress Subject Heading 1
Library of Congress Subject Heading 2
Human rights -- Egypt.
The author retains all rights with regard to copyright. The author certifies that written permission from the owner(s) of third-party copyrighted matter included in the thesis, dissertation, paper, or record of study has been obtained. The author further certifies that IRB approval has been obtained for this thesis, or that IRB approval is not necessary for this thesis. Insofar as this thesis, dissertation, paper, or record of study is an educational record as defined in the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) (20 USC 1232g), the author has granted consent to disclosure of it to anyone who requests a copy.
Not necessary for this item
El Hosseiny, S.
(2013).Justice denied: how the Egyptian legal system perpetuates impunity [Master’s thesis, the American University in Cairo]. AUC Knowledge Fountain.
El Hosseiny, Salma Nasser. Justice denied: how the Egyptian legal system perpetuates impunity. 2013. American University in Cairo, Master's thesis. AUC Knowledge Fountain.