Egypt should join Arab Charter on Human Rights: Arab League

The Arab Commission for Human Rights called on Egypt to join the Arab Charter on Human Rights adopted by the Arab League in 2004.

According to the head of commission, Dr. Abdul Raheem Al-Awadhi, Assistant Foreign Minister for Legal Affairs of UAE, Egypt should have signed the charter after the uprising in January 25, 2011.

“Cairo has not yet started the ratification of the agreement, apparently because of the upheaval that followed the events of January 25 last year. But now when the work of the state gets back to normal, it should be done,” Al-Awadhi said.

According to him, in the present circumstances when the Middle East and North Africa is experiencing a surge of people struggle for democracy and human rights, the activity of the commission should be intensified and its authority should significantly expand.

“If Egypt signs the Charter it will improve the credibility of the commission and will expand its powers. It will be useful for Egyptian and other Arab governmental and non-governmental organizations of human rights,” head of the commission said, according to RIA Novosti,

The Arab League has established a permanent Commission on Human Rights in 1968, but its power is restricted. In 2004 the Arab League adopted the Charter of Human Rights joined by seven countries (Jordan, Bahrain, Libya, Algeria, UAE, Syria and Palestine). In 2008 the Charter came into force. At the moment the treaty is ratified by three states in the region: Yemen, Qatar and Saudi Arabia.

The international relation to the Arab Charter for Human Rights is ambiguous. The UN, Amnesty International and other major human rights organizations have criticized the agreement for the Arab approach to the unequal rights of men and women and for corporal punishment.