Egypt Criticises ‘US Appointing Itself Human Rights Advocate’

Egypt’s foreign ministry spokesman denounced Saturday the US “appointing itself a lawyer and an advocate for human rights issues in the world without a legitimate base,” Al-Ahram Arabic website reported.

Badr Abdel-Ati, in a press conference, commented on the US’s annual Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2013, saying the report is “unbalanced and non-objective.”

The report, issued in late February, said the most significant human rights problems were the “removal of an elected civilian government,” referring to the removal of Mohamed Morsi from office on 3 July following mass protests on 30 June.

The spokesman said that the report’s claim of the removal of Morsi is incorrect as “tens of millions of Egyptians took to the streets on 30 June to demand early presidential elections.”

Abdel-Ati said the US’s omission of the protests leading to Morsi’s ouster shows that the report is not accurate and doesn’t reflect reality.

He further accused the US of double standard as it highlights human rights violations in Egypt and the world, while the US has its own violations, such as bugging phones and the continued operation of Guantanamo Bay detention camp.

The 2013 Egypt US Country Report on Human Rights Practices, according to Abdel-Ati, overlooked the “terrorism” Egypt is facing and the violence against the state, innocent civilians and army and police personnel.

Instead, Abdel-Ati said, the US report points to “unlawful killings and torture” by security forces.

Abdel-Ati said Egypt could understand if the report was issued by the United Nations or a human rights organisation. However, according to Abdel-Ati, a report issued by the US State Department shows that the US wants to appoint itself as a judge and advocate for human rights in the world.

US Country Reports on Human Rights Practices are based on “factual reporting from [US] embassies and posts abroad” and are mandated by the US Congress, and cover almost 200 countries and territories.