UN to Review Egypt’s Human Rights Record

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A national committee led by transitional justice and house of representatives affairs minister Ibrahim El-Heneidy will meet Thursday to make a final review ‎of a report about the situation of human rights in Egypt ‎over the last four years. The report will be reviewed by ‎the Geneva-based UN Human Rights Council next ‎week.

El-Heneidy told parliamentary reporters that he and ‎members of the committee will leave for Geneva next ‎Sunday to attend a special session on the human rights ‎situation in Egypt and respond to questions and ‎remarks. The session will be attended by ‎representatives from 125 countries.‎

The committee is composed of Hisham Badr, deputy foreign ‎minister for human rights, Abu Bakr El-Gendy, ‎deputy interior minister for human rights, Mervat ‎Talalawy, secretary-general of the national council for ‎women, Maha Abdel-Latif, deputy foreign minister for ‎foreign NGOs and Medhat Bassiouny, deputy justice ‎minister for human rights. It also includes Mohamed ‎Khallaf, deputy prosecutor-general for international ‎cooperation affairs, and Ashraf Ashmawy, El-Heneidy’s ‎advisor for human rights.‎

Ashmawy told parliamentary correspondents that the ‎review of the human rights situation in Egypt in ‎Geneva next week will be the second in four years. The ‎first review was made in February, 2010. “At that time, ‎the UN Human Rights Council raised 165 ‎recommendations about human rights in Egypt, ‎‎119 of which were accepted by the government,” said ‎Ashmawy.‎

According to Ashmawy, the report prepared by the ‎committee tackles controversial issues such as the ‎protest law, sexual harassment, violations of human ‎rights in Sinai Peninsula and prison custody.‎

Nasser Amin, a member of the board of the National ‎Council for Human Rights, said the committee – led by ‎El-Heneidy – held a meeting with representatives of ‎civil society organisations on Tuesday to listen to their ‎remarks about human rights in Egypt.

“In this meeting, ‎we expressed our concern about the human rights ‎situation in Egypt and asked for recommendations,” ‎said Amin. He added that “these mainly focused on the ‎necessity of amending the protest law, the NGO law, ‎reviewing prison custody periods, and the necessity for ‎the government to implement the new constitution’s ‎articles on human rights.”‎

Amin said civil society organisations complained that ‎the new government-drafted NGO law is highly ‎restrictive and violates the new constitution and that the ‎government should amend the protest law as ‎recommended by the National Council for Human ‎Rights. “The organisations asked for a dialogue with ‎the government, with the objective of reaching a ‎balanced law giving a lot of freedoms for NGOs in the ‎coming period,” said Amin.‎

Amin indicated that organisations raised concern about ‎the government’s intent to evacuate the citizens of the ‎Sinai border city of Rafah. “They stressed that this ‎evacuation should come only after a written prior ‎approval from citizens,” said Amin.‎

Amin cited minister El-Heneidy as emphasising that ‎citizens of Rafah have already approved the evacuation ‎project and that they will leave Rafah for good rather than temporarily.

Source:Albawaba ‎