To put the recommendations of Geneva in action EOHR forms the “National Committee to build a future without emergency”

May 19th, 2010 by Editor

At the end of a seminar entitled” Towards a future without the state of emergency” which was held by EOHR on Tuesday 18/5/2010, EOHR declared the establishment of “The national committee to build a future without emergency” and to include in its membership representatives of political parties, political forces and civil society organizations in order to launch a campaign to negotiate with government officials and experts to practice a pressure on the government to cancel the state of emergency during 6 months, calling the government for responding to the recommendations of UN human rights council on lifting the state of emergency in the frame of the Universal Periodic Review for the Egyptian file on the status of human rights.  

Mr. Hafez Abu Seada, chairman of EOHR, called the government for finalizing the bill of terrorism which became a “dream” and a path of salvation from the  state of emergency imposed on the country since 1981, stressing that the delay in the issuance of anti-terrorism law is a regress  for the president’s promise which the government doesn’t abide to implement it. He added that  despite the gravity of terrorist acts and their impact on society and it imposes the need for public authorities to control it in order to ensure the security and integrity of the country, taking these actions as a pretext to declare the state of emergency is not correct, the continuing of the state of emergency doesn’t lead to terminate these terrorist actions , however the rates of these actions increased in the light of working with the state of emergency . Also all world countries witness the terrorist actions without using the special laws besides the existence of such deterred provisions once they are implemented rapidly.

The Emergency law violates the rights of detainees to be released as there are persons under detention since 17 years, however they took 14 release decisions without execution, so the state of emergency shall be abolished without postponement.

Mr. Ahmed Abd El Hafeez, vice – chairman of EOHR and the lawyer of cassation, called for the abolishment of the emergency law due to it’s bad influence on the civil and political rights system, the right to political participation and the right to fair trial, throughout the duration of application of that law and according to it a lot of civilians had been referred to the exceptional courts and that contradicts the human rights guaranteed by the concerned international covenants ratified by the Egyptian government and became   part and parcel of its internal law, according to article No. 151 of the constitution.

Abu Seada has expressed his fears from using emergency law in the next legislative elections because of the absence of justification to  impose the state of emergency as we are not in war time , the emergency law as well disrupts the judicial and the legislative authority from performing their tasks, it is used in cases which is not stipulated in the constitution as the state of emergency  is determined in the constitution, Abu Seada  ensured that continuing the state of emergency consider a breach to the legislation and the constitution,  as he  called  the political and constitutional forces  in Egypt  to start a campaign in order to lift the state of emergency , he also pointed that we can not move towards the political and the constitutional reform without lifting this state of emergency which constitute a prime source of violation to the human rights. He called for   a national coalition as a start which includes all the political and reforming forces and the civil society organizations gathered by one goal namely to lift  the imposed state of emergency since 1981 until now and returning to the constitutional legality and the natural law. This state is conflicting with the international covenants concerned with human rights and the Egyptian constitution.

Gen. Fouad Alam, security expert has declared that our conditions under the imposed emergency law should be changed to better ,stressing that the executive authority has the right to expand the emergency as long as it seeks in the first place to stabilize the state interior  security specially that the drafting of the terrorism law is not furnished yet. He also demanded the rapidity of its completion because we are in case of threaten in many cases and every thing  is more  complicated more than before.

The  security expert demanded different parties, the political force and the civil society organization to create a national mobility in order to expedite  the declaration of the anti- terrorism law because it will contain guarantees which does not exit in the penal code or criminal procedural law and also focus on the next elections which consider a turning point for more democracy.  Alam has confirmed that there is a group of rules governs the application of emergency law. These rules stated in the presidential decision  which  agree to expand the enforcement of the emergency law but the execution of this legal act must be observed.

Participants argued with Alam about the number of the political detainees  as he confirmed that they do not exceed 500 persons , he described that the director of the prisons  section declared about the number of the political detainees every  period but Abu Seada  has emphasized that there are about 10 000  political and criminal prisoners in Egypt according to the reports of human rights organizations  

 Mr. Abd El Hameed Barakat, assistant  secretary general of  Al Tagamou party, confirmed  that there is a huge number of detainees  in prisons , so  the extension of  the state of emergency come in the context that the system can not survive without that case. The President promised that there will be a new terrorism law replacing the  emergency law.

Mr.Abd El Hafeez added that confining emergency law on the drugs and terrorism cases is a positive thing and a long run benefit, so we shall build upon it to be able to lift the emergency case totally which will be the future goal of the national committee established by EOHR.

At the end of the seminar, the members of the national committee called for the joining of all the political and social forces and political parties to the committee  in order to achieve the goal of building a future without the emergency state, the national committee will hold it’s first meeting in the first week of next June in order to define it’s tasks and the needed mechanisms, this goal shall be achieved before the next meeting of the universal periodic review which will be held on mid-June.

The members of the national committee called the government for:

  • – Restricting the emergency case to the state of the real war and the disasters, and to be for a limited duration, and not to be renewed unless under a précised conditions and supervision of the constitutional authority.
  • – The rapid finalizing of the terrorism law, so that it shall have an equilibrium between protecting human rights and combating terrorism, also the criteria of the fair trial which was confirmed by the 14th article of the international covenant on civil and political rights shall be included, taking into consideration the rights of the accused person stated in the Egyptian constitution, specially those rights to have a fair trial and to protect the inviolability of the private life.
  • – The abolishment of all exceptional laws and courts, in addition to providing all guarantees of the independence of judicial authority, providing the right to a fair trial, including the cancellation of all exceptional courts and stopping the refer of civilians to the military courts, which means the amendment of article No.6 of the military orders law and refer any civilian to the natural judge.
  • – The instant releasing of all prisoners who are detained according to the emergency law, putting an end to the administrative detention which leads to the arbitrary detention, and which contradicts the international commitments of Egypt.

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