In the light of Universal Periodic Review session in Geneva

February 18th, 2010 by Editor

Hafez Abu Seada participated in a press conference for  the International Federation for Human Rights  

In the light of the 7th session of the Universal Periodic Review in Geneva,

the International Federation for Human Rights held  a press conference on Thursday, 18/2/2010 in the presence of some representatives of Egyptian human rights organizations in order to comment on the governmental report and to review the shadow reports submitted by civil society organizations.  

The conference was attended by Mr. Hafez Abu Seada, chairman of the Egyptian Organization for Human Rights, Mr. Hossam Bahgat, director of the Egyptian Initiative for personal rights, and Mr. Sherif Azer, representative of the Egyptian Organization for Human Rights.

Participants of the conference discussed the  major violations committed against human rights stated by the reports which dealt with the situation of human rights in Egypt during the past years.

As for commenting on the voluntary undertakings, participants confirmed that Egypt has to abide by these undertakings as follows:

– Reviewing  Egyptian legislations to be in line with Egypt’s international obligations.

– Reviewing  the definition of torture  crime in the Egyptian law to comply with the recognition stated  in the Convention against Torture.

– Issuing  laws related to NGOs, violence against women, rights of disabled people,  trafficking in persons,  professional syndicates and health insurance.

– Amending the  Code of Criminal Procedures so as not to revive criminal and civil action for those  who have no direct interest, which represents a violation to the freedom of thought and creativity.

– Studying the law  proposed by the National Council for Human Rights to adopt a unified legislation for  places of worship.

-Reconsidering on Egypt’s reservations on the  international conventions concerned with  human rights.

Also participants confirmed that there is no justification for shooting migrants from Africa by both Egyptian and Israeli security forces, pointing out that Israel shouldn’t force Egypt to protect its borders or close borders against refugees because this will violate the UN’s convention for refugees.

Participants called the Egyptian government for adopting the following:

 – Adopting  some recommendations discussed  at the session from  states parties  and especially the immediate termination of state of  emergency.

– Develop a mechanism to follow up the Egyptian government’s commitment to the recommendations included in the government report.

– Setting a specific schedule  for the implementation of these recommendations as soon as possible.

– Involving  civil society organizations in an effective and permanent dialogue with government agencies to ensure the government’s implementation of its obligations.

– Amending  article 76 of the Egyptian Constitution to allow independent candidates to run for presidential elections, and enable civil society organizations to monitor presidential and parliamentary elections in all stages.

– Amending  some articles on torture in the Penal Code and Criminal Procedure Code,  in accordance with international conventions  to include the definition of  torture crime

according to what stated in  the Convention against Torture which was ratified by Egypt in 1986 , this in order to combat impunity and to intensify  punishment against perpetrators of  torture and the inadmissibility of using  of clemency and reduced circumstances for sanction.

– Reconsidering  Article 179 of the Constitution, because it will lead to the legalization of the  state of emergency as a constitutional case, which will eventually lead to the violation of the rights and fundamental freedoms of citizens.

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