Egypt’s justice ministry criticises report by Human Rights Council

An annual report by Egypt’s semi-governmental National Council for Human Rights (NCHR) was criticised by the justice ministry on Monday in parliament for what it called a failure to show that the issue of human rights is at the top of the government’s agenda.

The report, released in July, was discussed by parliament’s human rights committee with representatives from the ministries of justice, interior and foreign affairs as well as a representative from the council, Ahram Arabic website reported.

Justice ministry representative Ashraf Hegazy criticised the report, saying that it gives a false impression to the international community that Egypt does not prioritise human rights issues.

He said the report alleges that there are high numbers of prisoners detained for long periods without trial as well as incidents of torture without citing specific figures.

Hegazy also said the report seems accusatory of the judiciary and that it suggests that judges issue politically motivated rulings.

NCHR board member Hafez Abu Saeda said during the meeting that the purpose of the report was not to only highlight the country’s “positives.”

On the sidelines of the NCHR releasing the report in July, the council’s head Mohamed Fayek said that 20 people have died while behind bars due to deteriorating health caused by poor conditions in detention facilities.

He also said that prisons and detention facilities are overcrowded at rates of 150 percent and 300 percent respectively, which results in insufficient and ineffective medical services.

Source: Ahram Online

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