The Situation of Human Rights in Egypt 2009: Introduction, summary and recommendations

July 14th, 2010 by Editor

Issuing the 20th  annual report of EOHR of 2009 comes in the light of a political environment not different from the previous years. Violations still committed against human rights. They are not restricted to civil and political rights, but also economic rights suffer from flagrant violations.

 

The numbers and Statistics clarify the crudeness of the situation, EOHR has received in 2009 about (3812) complaints on these rights (the right to work-the right to education- the right to health- the right to a clean environment-the right to drinkable water- the right to adequate housing ), EOHR has received about (5500) complaints in total.

 

Complaints on the violations of civil and political rights came in the second rank, as they  reached (1532) complaints. These complaints were mainly torture crimes as it considers the main source of violations of the right to life and the right to physical integrity.

 

The following table clarifies the distribution of complaints according to the rights subject of violations of 2009

 

percentage

No.

Compliant type

ser

2.8%

156

Shelve complaints

1

69.3%

3812

Complaints of economical and social rights

2

1.8%

100

 Complaints of Egyptians abroad

3

2%

113

complaints of arrest

4

2.9%

160

complaints of detaining

5

9.65%

530

Complaints of The prisoners treatment

6

1.14%

63

Complaints of Torture

7

0.58%

32

Complaints of The right of  freedom of opinion and expression

8

3.9%

215

Complaints of Oppression

9

0.36%

20

Complaints of disappearances

10

3.1%

173

Complaints of Strike

11

0.35%

14

Death

12

0.28%

10

Collective punishment

13

1.8%

102

Sit-in

14

100%

5500

total

 

 

 

Concerning the replies that EOHR has received on its correspondences during 2009, we noticed that there is a remarkable increase in the amount of the incoming replies to EOHR compared to the previous year. In 2009, EOHR received (119) written replies from the ministries, authorities, embassies and the governmental institutions. The replies have increased compared to the last year with (115) replies, but in the same time these incoming replies can’t be compared to the amount of correspondences which reached( 3188).

 

The Ministry of Social Solidarity came in the first rank as it reached( 21) replies of the total amount of replies, in the second rank  came the Ministry of Manpower and Emigration as its replies reached about (17) replies, in the third rank came the Ministry of Electricity and Energy as its replies reached about (10) replies, in the forth rank came the Ministry of Education and Ministry of Foreign Affairs as its replies reached (8) replies per each, in the fifth rank came the Ministry of Health and ministry of Housing, Utilities and Urban development as it reached (7) replies, after this Cairo Governorate as it reached (5) replies and in the next rank came the Holding Company for Water and Waste Water as it reached (4) replies, then the Ministry of Agriculture as it reached (3) replies then the Ministry of Civil Aviation, the National Council for Human Rights and Kafr El Sheikh Governorate as they reached (2) replies per each, and in the last rank came the rest of the ministries and number of companies, governorates, and governmental institutions have only one reply per each.

 

EOHR didn’t receive any reply from the Ministry of Interior and the Attorney General office, it worth noting that EOHR’s correspondences reached (920) correspondences.

 

On the legislative level, the legislative structure still swarm with many articles that restrict the political and partisan life, like law of political party No.40 for 1997, amended by law No, 177 for 2005, and trade union law No. 100 for 1993 and NGOs law No. 84 for 2002.

 

In this regard, EOHR confirms that the monitored violations are just indicators to show the occurrence of violations of the aforementioned rights, EOHR is keen on neutrality and objectivity on monitoring these violations.

 

The report contains documented information, that has been obtained by a specified work mechanism approved by international organs, EOHR succeeded in developing its work during the last 24 years, it is represented in:

 

First: source of information:

 

– Receiving complaints and information from individuals and groups that are directly connected to the subject of violation.

-Monitoring the complaints and press investigations published in the newspapers and mass media through the documentation and information unit in EOHR.

-To follow-up what is published on the status of Egyptians abroad through mass media or the reports of human rights organizations.

 

Second: checking and documenting the information by the field work unit, as follows:

 

– receiving complainant and sending the complaints to the concerned authority and following the reply whether negatively or positively.

– Sending facts- finding missions to investigate the compliant and to meet with witnesses, relatives and the governmental officials or any other concerned party.

– Visiting prisons, places of detention, meeting prisoners and detainees and their families.

 

EOHR’s annual report(2009) includes six fundamental sections:

 

The first section: deals with reviewing and the assessment of most important legislative developments, judicial judgments and the procedures  related to human rights in Egypt in 2009.

 

The second section: which represents  the main section in the report, it includes the results of monitoring, documenting, following up of human rights status in Egypt during 2009.

 

The third section : interacting with the international mechanism in order to protect human rights,

it is a new section in 2009 annual report, which show the extent of commitment of the government in cooperating with the international mechanism of human rights, specially that Egypt has pledged voluntary before UN Human Rights Council in 2007 to cooperate with the international mechanism to implement its commitments.

 

The forth section: the status of human rights in Egypt …. International visions,

it includes the vision of the international organizations on the status of the human rights in Egypt and its conformity with the Egypt’s international commitments and also its commitments before UN’s International Human Rights Council.

 

The fifth section: reviewing statically EOHR’s activities in 2009, whether at the level of monitoring and following-up or on its activities in the field of spreading the culture of human rights.

 

 

 

The first section:

 

The legislative, judicial judgments and procedures development

 

2009 witnessed a set of important legislative and judicial developments represented in the following amendments:

 

First: the legislative developments:

 

The legislative system witnessed during 2009 the issuance of some laws, and the amendment of other laws such as:

 

1) Issuing law No. 71 for 2009, on psychological patient.

2) Issuing law No. 124 for 2009 to amend some of the provisions of the Penal Code issued by law No. 58 for 1937.

3) Amending law No. 6 of 2009, concerned with some of the decisions by law No. 396 for 1956 concerns with organizing prisons. first paragraph has been added to article 19 which states that ” the pregnant prisoners shall be treated in a special medical treatment (food, employing and sleeping) since her pregnancy has been proven by a medical report, until she give birth and 40 days after giving birth”.

4) The issuance of law No. 9 for 2009, by amending some provisions of the environment law issued by law No. 4 for 1994, the amendments includes the definitions of the environmental damages, air, water pollution and compensation of the damages which occurs to the environment which results from ships, the amendments also include ban of contraventions.

5) The issuance of law N0. 149 for 2009 to amend some of the provisions of law No. 28 for 1972 concerning the parliament, according to the parliament, the Republic of Egypt will be divided into constituencies to elect 444 candidates, also it will be divided into other constituencies to elect 64 candidates, the nomination is restricted only to women for two legislative terms, it should elected two candidates in every constituency one of them should be labor and farmers, all constituency shall be determined in accordance with a law special to them.

 

 

Second: The judicial judgments:

 

Concerning the judicial judgments, many judgments have been issued by the Supreme Constitutional Court and the Administrative Court, the details as follows:

 

First: The decisions of the Supreme Constitutional Court:

 

The Supreme Constitutional Court declared some decisions unconstitutional in 2009, which are:

1) Unconstitutionality of the second paragraph of article 38 of Social Insurance law No.79 for 1975.

 

2) Unconstitutionality of article 2 of law No.105 for 1985 concerns with the maximum limit of wages.

 

Second: The administrative judgments:

 

1) Suspending the implementation of refusal decisions on issuing a licenses for El- Ayon newspaper.

 

 

 

 

 

The second section: Human rights violations in Egypt in 2009

 

 

Human rights are divided into two aspects: the civil and political rights and the economical and social rights, as follows:

 

First: The civil and political rights:

 

1) The right to life:

 

EOHR monitored 125 death cases resulting from torture during the period between 2000 to 2009. 2004 witnessed 22 violation cases, in the second rank came 2005 and 2008 with 17 case, in the forth rank came 2002 and 2009 with 12 case, in the fifth rank came 2001 and 2003 with 8 cases per each year, in the last rank came 2000 and 2001 with 7 cases per each year, EOHR is confirming that this number is only what has been monitored during one year, this is including without limitation, because EOHR has faced difficulties in documenting the violations of this right, represented in:

 

– The victim’s families refused to cooperate with EOHR in order to document this case and provide them with the legal assistance.

-Some families have waived their right to accuse the involved police officers in the official report of the public prosecution.

 

By analyzing the cases which have been monitored during 2009, we will find that El- Menya Governorate occupied the top rank in violation of the right to life. EOHR has monitored 3 death cases, El-Gharbia and Cairo came in the second rank with two cases per each, El-Monofia, Kafr el Sheikh, El Dakahlia, El Behira and North Sinai came in the last rank with 1 case per each.

 

 

2) The right of freedom and personal security:

 

This right is violated in large-scale and in systematic way inside the police stations and prisons. EOHR has monitored in 2009 about 118 torture case , persecution and illegal detaining with 46 cases apart from the previous year 2008 as it reached 72 cases of violation, cases has been distributed in 29 cases of torture, 65 cases of illegal detention and 24 cases of persecution and ill-treatment.

 

The report includes the following sections:

 

 

First: Torture:

 

EOHR monitored about 304 torture cases during the period between 2000 to 2009. In 2009 EOHR monitored 29 cases, 2008 occupied the summit of years witnessed torture cases with 47 cases, with 5 more cases than 2004 and 2007, they came in the second rank with 42 torture cases, in the third rank came 2005 with 34 cases, in the rank came 2000 with 15 cases.

 

These cases distributed in different governorates. Cairo and Port Said came in the first rank with 7 cases per each, Giza governorate came in the second rank with 5 cases, 6 October Governorate came in the third rank with 2 cases, in the last rank came El Wadi El Gedid, Alexandria, Qaliobia, Monofia, Fayoum, Ismalia, El Sewis, Asyout governorates with 1 case per each.

 

Second: Arbitrary detention:

 

EOHR monitored during the period from 2001 to 2009 with 202 arbitrary detention cases, 2009 came in the first rank with 71 cases of arbitrary detention 48 apart in 2005 and 2006, they came in the second rank with 23 cases of detention.

 

Cases distributed in different Egyptian governorates, 6 October governorate came in the first rank with 21 cases of violation, El- Dakahlia came in the second rank with 15 cases, Cairo came in the third rank with 9 cases, Giza came in the forth rank with 6 cases, Qaliobia came in the fifth rank with 3 cases, Kafr El Shiekh, Alexandria and North Sinai came in the sixth rank, El Sharkia, Asyout, El Bahr El Ahmar, El Monofia and Helwan came in the last rank with one case per each.

 

Third: persecution and ill-treatment in the police stations:

 

Eohr monitored during the period from 2004 to 2009 about 87 cases of persecution and ill-treatment inside police stations, 2007 and 2009 came at the first rank as it witnessed violation to this right with 29 cases, 2006 came in the second rank with 16 cases, 2008 came in the third rank with 13 cases, 2004 came in the forth rank with 10 cases, in 2005 no cases were dedicated .

 

Cairo came in the first rank with 5 cases, Giza and Monofia came in the second rank with 3 cases, El-Sharkia, Alexandria, Qaliobia, Port Said and Kafr El Shiekh came in the last rank with one case.

 

3) Collective punishment:

 

EOHR monitored during the period of 2004 and 2009 about 21 cases of collective punishment, 2005 came in the first rank with 5 cases, 2009 came in the second rank with 4 cases, 2004.2006 and 2008 came in the third rank with 3 cases per each.

 

2009 witnessed the occurrence of many cases of collective punishment in Egypt governorates, specially in North Sinai, as Baloza village-Romana city-North Sinai governorate witnessed  a campaign of random detention in a large-scale, firing rubber. live bullets and tear-gas bombs, resulting in the death of one citizen and injury of others, these detentions coincide with Romana’s police force arrest those who escape from judicial verdicts and breaking into the inhabitant’s residential houses, the police force consisted of 7 armors, armored cars and security vehicles, which provoked the citizens as a result of the detention of people who didn’t issueagainst them judgments and without criminal suspicion.

 

The second incident has monitored by EOHR, occurred in Abu Tawila village- El Shiekh Zewad city-North Sinai governorate on December 2009, as the police officers broke into the village’s houses and destroyed the contents of the residential departments and seized the money belongs to inhabitants and arrest the child” Mohamed Fawzy Selim” 14 years old and detained him illegally in the state security investigation office in El Sheikh Zewad.

 

The third incident occurred in Hawara village in Fayoum governorate on August 2009, when a conflict erupted between one of the youth of Hawara village and a police officer responsible for insuring an ambush, this conflict resulted in hitting the police officer the young man on his face by his gun, which resulted in broke of his nose, bleeding and a bruise in his left eye and then he passed out, the inhabitants thought that the young man died so they start throwing stones towards the ambush and the security personnel, which lead an officer to fire bullets and then they continued to arrest inhabitants randomly.

 

The forth incident occurred in Dafria and Azbet Asman village-Kafr El Sheikh governorate where a large security force removed water station and shifted it to a land owned by one of the citizens and they assaulted and arrested them randomly and injured some of them by using tear-gases bombs.

 

 

4) Forced disappearance:

 

The phenomenon of forced disappearance form a violation for a fundamental set of human rights guaranteed under the international covenants, EOHR monitored the phenomenon of forced disappearance since the seventh until now, but EOHR didn’t monitor any case of forced disappearance in 2009 but it confirms that this phenomenon is supported legally as the legislation doesn’t contain a direct legal provision that defines the forced disappearance or criminalize it or impose a sanction.

 

EOHR monitored during its field work since 1992 until 2009, the disappearance of 73 cases, 17 person have been found and 56 person still missing.

 

 

5) The right to movement:

 

The right to movement consider one of the human development basis, but there are many decisions concern with the prohibition to travel, EOHR monitored during the period from 2007 to 2009 about 15 cases of violation of the right to travel, 3 cases in 2009 distributed in three governorates which are cairo, Giza, Alexandria governorates.

 

 

6) The treatment of prisoners and detainees :

 

In 2009, EOHR didn’t monitor any improvement in the situations of prisoners and other detainees in the Egyptian prisons, the situations are continued in deterioration in contrary to the national legislative provisions and the international covenants concerned with human rights.

 

EOHR monitored about 474 cases of violation of the prisoners in different prisons, most of these violations are represented in poor health care which lead to death, also persecution, ill-treatment and deprivation of education.

 

This section includes a set of items, as follows:

 

First: death cases 

EOHR monitored through the period between 2007-2009 about 7 death cases inside prisons, where 2009 came in the first place with 3 cases, then 2007, 2008 in the second place with 2 cases for each year.

 

Second: persecution and ill-treatment.

EOHR monitored through the period between 2004-2009 about 29 cases of persecution and ill-treatment inside prisons, 2007 came in the first place with 11 cases, then came 2009 with 10 cases, after that came 2008 with 6 cases, in the fourth place came 2004 with 2 cases, and in the last rank came 2005, 2006 without any cases.

 

Third: poor health care.

EOHR monitored through the period between 2001-2008 about 384 cases, 2004 came in the first place with 67 cases of poor health care to the prisoners, 2009 came in the last rank with 19 cases.

 

Fourth: strikes in prisons.

EOHR monitored in the period between 2005-2009 about 13 cases of strikes in the prisons, 2006 came in the first place with 6 cases, then 2007 with 3 cases, after that 2005 with 2 cases, in the last place came 2008, 2009 with one case for each.

 

Fifth: the request for transfer from prison to another.

EOHR monitored through the period between 2007-2009 about 67 cases of request for transfer from prison to another, 2009 came in the first place in violation for that right with 37 cases, then came 2007 with 18 cases, in the last rank came 2008 with 12 cases.

 

Sixth: the request for conditional release.

EOHR monitored through the period between 2007-2009 about 24 cases of the request for conditional release, 2008 came in the first place in violation for this right with 12 cases, then 2007 with 9 cases, in the last rank came 2009 with 3 cases.

 

7. The right to have fair trial.

EOHR monitored in 2009 a lot of violations for this right.

 

Firstly: the military trials.

EOHR monitored in the period between 1991-2000 about 34 cases, 2001 witnessed 2 important cases which are “Tanzeem Al Waad” and “Tanzeem El Asatzaa” cases, in 2003 monitored the referring of 34 civilians to military courts in the case of “Khaliet Gond Allah”, 2004 witnessed the case of “Ahmed Hussien Egezza” which was known as the case of who came back from Albania, in 2006 there were 2 cases of “Hatem El Balak, the correspondent of Al Tagamoo news paper” and the case of  “Tallat El Sadat, the MP”, in 2008 EOHR monitored the cases of ” Khairat El Shater” and the case of ” Al Mahala events”, in 2009 there were 3 cases, the first is: the case No.11 for 2009 military misdemeanor, North Sinai who are accused in it Magdy Ahmed Hassan  the secretary general of “Al Tagamoo” the suspended political party, the second is: the case No. 34 for 2009 military misdemeanor, North Sinai accused in it Ahmed Saad Doma, the third case is: the uphold of the military court of cassation to the former rule in the case of “Khairat El Shater”.

 

Secondly: the state security emergency courts.

EOHR monitored in this year 3 cases in this context, the cases no. 1643 and 1646 for 1993 criminal state security, which were accused in them Abd El Hameed Ossman Moussa  known by “Abu Akrab”. And the case no. 5631 for 2005 criminal, emergency of state security, Damanhour in the case of Sarandao farmers and the case no.66 for 2009 emergency of state security known by “Tanzeem Hizb Allah” in Egypt.

 

Thirdly: supreme state security prosecution.

EOHR monitored in 2009 the referring of 164 citizen to the investigation before supreme state security prosecution in different cases.

 

8. the freedom of opinion and expression.

The lawyers of EOHR have monitored the increase in the cases of violation to the right to free opinion and expression, this violations reached to 190 cases in 2009, after that came 2008 with 151 cases, in the third rank came 2007 with 43 cases, and the total number for these cases reached 384 cases from 2007-2009.

This part of the report includes number of aspects as follows:

 

The first aspect: the journalists.

Firstly: the ill-treatment and the assaulting of journalists.

EOHR monitored many cases of : the ill-treatment and the assaulting of journalists, these cases reached to 40 cases through the period between 2000-2009, 2000 came in the first place with 11 cases, then 2008 with 9 cases, after that came 2003, 2005, 2009 with 4 cases, then 2002, 2004, 2006, 2007 with 2 cases, in the last place came 2001 with no cases.

 

Secondly: the investigation with the journalists before the public prosecution.

EOHR monitored through the period between 2000-2009 about 36 cases, 2004 and 2005 came on the top of the list with 6 cases, then came 2006 and 2008 with 5 cases, after that came 2003 and 2009 with 4 cases, then 2001 and 2007 with 3 cases, in the last case came 2000 and 2002 without any case.

 

Thirdly: journalists before courts.

 

EOHR monitored through the period between 2002 to 2009 about 281 cases, 2009 came in the first place with 148 cases, then 2008 with 43 cases, after that came 2006 with 26 cases, in the fourth place came 2007 with 33 cases, in the fifth rank came 2003 with 16 cases, in the sixth place came 2002 with 12 cases, in the seventh place came 2004 with 9 cases, and finally in the last place came 2005 with 5 cases.

 

In 2009 EOHR has noticed from referring journalists to trials that most newspapers subjected to trial was  Al Fagr newspaper as it was stood  before courts in 12 cases with 24% followed by the second rate Al Mogaz newspaper in 10 cases with 20%, while in the third rank was Soat Al Oma newspaper in 5 cases with 10% and Al Masry Al Youm in the fourth rank in 4 cases with 8%

And Al Karama newspaper in 3 cases with 6 % then  Al Midan and Al Dostour in 2 cases per each with 4% and the final rank was for both of ( Al Osboo- Al Shorouk- Al Wafd- Al Ahaly-Al Ghad- Shosha – Al Balagh Al Gadid) in one case per each with 2%.

 

 

 

The second aspect : The internet and blogs

 

As for bloggers in Egypt,  2009 witnessed several violations committed against bloggers on the right to the freedom to use the internet which varied between detention and ill-treatment and persecution and judiciary trials, this is due to the absence of legislation to regulate the right to organize the right to use the internet.

  

 

The third aspect:

 

 Satellite channels and the right to exchange information:

 

EOHR monitored in 2009 what Satellite channels’ subjection to gave violations including the trial of Nader Mohamed Hassan, director of Cairo company for news, Ayman Salem, regional director for Orbit Satellite channel, Amr Adib, media personnel and reporter, besides the security harassments represented in stopping the broadcast of the channel on the two satellites “Nilesat” and “Arabsat.

 

 

The fourth aspect: the confiscation of books

 

 

EOHR monitored the confiscation of several books and publications including the confiscations of two issues 29-50 of Al Balagh Al Gedid newspaper and prevent the sale of ” Al Hadith science for the Zaidi and mohdethin” and banning the publish of ( Al Khadiaa Al Kobra- Anwar Al Hakaek in detecting Al Wahabia ) books, and canceling the license of Ibdaa and confiscating Metro novel.

 

9. The right to peaceful assembly

 
This section includes several aspects as follows:

 

 

First: The peaceful demonstrations

 

 

EOHR monitored during the period from  2001 to 2009 nearly 298 peaceful demonstrations, in 2008 there were 94  peaceful demonstration, and the second  rank  in 2009 with  82 cases, and in third rank in 2006 with  27 cases, while in 2004 there were 24 cases with the fourth rank, in 2007 there were  14 cases with the fifth rank, while in 2002 came in the last rank with only 6 cases.

Second: strike
EOHR  has monitored this year about 13 cases of strike and 3 CASES on hunger strike

1. Work strike

 

EOHR monitored  since 2004  to 2009 about 94 cases of strike action, in 2008 there was the highest strike rate with 24 cases, in 2007 came in the second rank with  22 cases, followed by the third rank in 2004 with 18 cases, while  2009 there were  13 cases in the fourth rank, in 2006 there were 10 cases of strike in the fifth rank, in 2005 there were 7 cases only in the final rank.

 

 
2. Hunger strike

 

EOHR has monitored during the period from 2004 to 2009 about 54 cases of hunger strike, in 2008 was occupied the first rank  with 25 cases, in 2004 ranked the second with 18 cases, 2007 and 2006 occupied the third place with  4 cases, and the fourth rank in  2009 with  3 cases, while the final rank was  in 2005 as EOHR didn’t monitor any cases.

 

Third: sit-ins

 

EOHR has monitored since 2004 to 2009 about 113 cases of sit-in,  in 2008 there were 39 cases, in 2009 there were 25 cases in the second rank, in 2006 in the third rank with 20 cases , while in 2004 there were 16 cases , in 2005 in the fifth rank with 7 cases, and in 2007 in the final rank with 6 cases.

 

 

10. The right to form political parties and associations and trade unions
This section includes  three parts:

First: Political Parties

No developments were witnessed in 2009 on  the legislative structure which organize the right to establish political parties, the law still has legislative flaws that impede

the right to establishment freedom for  political parties which is guaranteed by the Egyptian constitution and the continued arbitrary  interference of the administrative side to use this power granted under the law.

 

2009 witnessed the highest rates of violation against  the right to form political parties and stop their activity

 

The matter which considers a clear violation for declarations and  international covenants on the right to join peaceful assembly  and associations.

 

It is noteworthy that the number of parties applying for the establishment and rejected by the Parties Affairs Committee were five political parties, namely, (Social Liberals, Egyptian liberal party, Nahdit Masr,  International Peace Party, Al Wast party for the fourth time),

 

The matter which force them to challenge against the decisions of the committee of parties affairs issued with rejection before parties’ court in Council of the state. 

 

The situation didn’t change for the freeze parties which the committee decided to freeze their activities at the pretext of the existence of disputes on its presidency, the conflict was still not resolved by the administrative courts.
 

Second: Professional Syndicates

 

Professional Syndicates didn’t witness any development, the international union for syndications criticized in its annual report 2008 issued in June 2009  the situation of syndications in Egypt as it indicated that the government and the private sector don’t take care with workers and their rights the matter which forced the workers to form protestations to call for their rights , also the role of the national union for workers decreased.

 

Third: NGOs

 

There wasn’t any clear development concerned with NGOs, as law No. 84-2002 and its executive regulation still stand. Organizations during this year subjected to a set of violations including the threat for dissolving like what happened with EOHR, besides the Arab organization for human rights to pass from Rafah crossing to Gaza strip, and the attempt to remove the premises of Koum Ghorab association, and the refusal to establish some NGOs.

 

 

11. The right to political participation

 

 

Egypt witnessed in 2009 during the supplementary elections of People’s Assembly  for  the vacant seats in  Samalut constituency and Masr Al Qadima constituency as well as elections of student unions in some Egyptian universities.

 

EOHR’s field unit monitored several violations in the supplementary elections for People’s Assembly including : conducting elections under judiciary supervision in the general poll station, however the sub- poll stations were under the supervision of public officials,  the weak turnout by voters , the continued policy of collective voting of state employees, the absence of opposition parties and the Muslim Brotherhood for this election.

 

As for the elections of student unions, the student regulation was used to set restrictions on the independent  student work in  universities,   which allowed for the administrative bodies of the executive authority of university administrations to intervene in the affairs of unions and placed conditions prohibitive to nominate students, and opened the door to intervention by administrative bodies and security in the management of elections.

 

This elections witnessed a set of violations including the opening of candidacy door in Student Unions elections for only one day after the start of the study directly without any declaration in all Egypt’s governorates, the matter which deprive several students of casting their votes, lists were declared in the following day and challenges were accepted in one day and be declared in the following day and then the final lists for candidates, also casting votes were not allowed except after paying study fees and student’s ID at a time that the university’s treasury was close to miss the opportunity of candidacy.

 

Student union elections in most of the Egyptian universities were conclusively conducted by uncontested election.

 

12. The rights of Egyptians abroad

 

EOHR has monitored about 343 cases of violations of the rights of Egyptians abroad in the period between (2002-2009), 2004 came in the first rank with 92 cases followed by the second rank in 2007 with 52 cases , and 2005 with 50 cases and the final rank came  2002 with 19 cases.

 

In this regard, 2009 witnessed a set of violations for Egyptians abroad whether in Arab countries or foreign countries

 

This report is divided to two sections as follows:

 

First: EOHR monitored in 2009 34 cases of violations committed against Egyptians abroad including 16 cases in Saudi Arabia which occupied the first rank followed by Qatar with 5 cases and Libya by 4 cases followed by Kuwait and Yemen  by two cases , and a case in both of Iraq and the UAE, Somalia, Tunisia, Eritrea

 

The second section : EOHR monitored about 5 cases of violation of the rights of Egyptians in foreign countries, both in the United States of America, France, Hungary, Germany and Italy by the case of each State

 

13. Discrimination against Women

Women still suffer from several restrictions both on the  legal or practical level, as figures show the declining participation of women in political life. EOHR has monitored during the period from 2003- 2009 about 83 violation cases, 2008 came on the top of years which witnessed violations with 23 cases, while in the second rank 2007 with 19 cases and 2003,2006 in the third rank with 11 cases, in the fourth rank came 2009 with 10 cases, and the fifth rank was for 2005 with 5 cases and the final rank for 2004 with 4 cases. All  these cases distributed in various governorates as follows:

 

Kafr El Sheikh in the first rank with  two cases , both of Dakahlia  and Al Gharbia,  Port Said, Al Menofia, Al Behira, , Aswan, Damietta, Beni Suef by one case per each.


 

Second: Economic and Social rights

 

This section deals with  the most important economic problems that hinder the Egyptian citizen, and therefore the report contains some economic and social rights  which EOHR monitor the violations committed against them in 2009 as follows:

 

1. The right to work

 

 
EOHR monitored 237 cases of violations of the right to work during the period from 2003 to 2009, in 2009 came to occupy the summit of the years that witnessed a violation of the right to work by 78 cases, while in 2007 occupied the second rank  with  65 cases. 2008 came  in third place with  58 cases, then in 2003 came in the  fourth rank with 10 cases, and  2004 in the fifth rank with 9 cases and  in 2005 with  7 cases. These cases distributed in the different governorates as follows:

 

Menia came in the first rank with 14 cases , Cairo came in the second rank with 13 cases , Al Gharbia and Al Sharkia came in the third rank , al dakahlia in the fourth rank with 6 cases, Giza came in the fifth rank with 5 cases , Alexandria and Beni Seuf, Al Behira, Assuit in the sixth rank with 3 cases per each governorates, Helwan , Red Sea, Fayuim ,Qena Kafr Al Sheikh and Qaliobia came in the seventh rank with two cases per each governorates, while in the final rank came 6 October , Sohag with one case.

 

2. The right to education

 

EOHR monitored during the period   from 2003 until 2009 about 71 cases of violation of the right to education, 2008 and 2006 came in the first rank with 16 cases followed by  2007 in the second rank with  13 cases, then in 2009 with  7 cases, these cases distributed among Egyptian governorates, cairo came in the first rank with two cases and in the second rank came both of  Minya, Giza and Qalyubia and 6 October and Alexandria by one case per each.

 

3. The right to housing

 

EOHR monitored  during the period from 2003 until 2009, nearly 213 violations of the right to housing, in the first rank came 2009 with  45 cases, in the second rank came 2008 with 44 cases. In 2006, it was in the third rank with 35 case, and in 2003, it was in the last rank with 4 cases. Cairo governorate came in the first rank with 16 cases, after it came Kafr El Shiekh, Qena, Al Dakahlia governorates with 4 cases for each, after them came Al Menia, Port Said in the third rank with 3 cases for each, in the fourth rank came Al Fayoum, Al Behera with 2 cases,  in the last rank came Asiout, Bany Souif, Al Giza, El Bahr El Ahmar, Kalioubia, Al Suez, Al Aksor with one case for each.

 

   

4. the right to health.

 

EOHR has monitored through years from 2003 to 2009 about 208  cases of the right to healthcare violations, 2008 came in the first rank with 49 cases, 2007 came in the second rank with 41 cases, 2006 came in the third rank with 34 cases, 2009 came in the fourth rank with 32 cases, in the fifth rank came 2005 with 27 cases, in the last rank came 2003 with 8 cases. The 32 cases of the year 2009 distributed between 6 death cases, 10 cases was asking for the treatment on the expense of the government, 2 cases asked for the governmental payment for their treatment, 11 cases medical negligence, 3 cases asked for completing their treatment. Cairo governorate came on the top of the governorates which witnessed the healthcare violations with 10 cases, after it came Alexandria, Al Giza, Al Fayoum, Al Menia, Al Kalioubia, Al Sharqia governorates with 2 cases, then Al Aqsur, Qena, Bany Souif, Al Behera, Al Menoufia, Assiout, Al Gharbia, Al Bahr Al Ahmar and Damietta governorates with one case.

 

5. The right to healthy environment.

 

EOHR has monitored through the years from 2005 to 2009 about 138 violation cases concerning the right to have healthy environment, 2007 and 2008 came in the first rank with 33 cases, after them came 2006 with 26 cases, then 2005 with 25 cases, in the last rank came 2009 with 21 cases. The 21 cases of 2009 was distributed as follows, 8 cases were harmed from the foundation of the mobile networks inside the housing compounds, 7 cases were harmed from sewage networks, 4 cases were harmed of air and sound pollution, 2 cases of environmental pollution.

The geographical distribution  for these cases were as follows: Kafr Al Shiekh governorate came in the first rank with 4 cases, then Al Dakahila and Al Sharkia  governorates with 3 cases, then Al Menia with 2 cases, in the last rank came Al Gharbia, Assiout, Bany Soiuf, Al Behera, North Sinai, Cairo, Al Aqsur, Al Qalioubia and Damietta with 1 case for each.

 

6. the right to healthy water.

 

EOHR monitored through years from 2007 to 2009 about 70 violation cases to the right to have healthy water, 2007 and 2009 came in the first rank with 25  cases, then 2008 with 20 cases.

 

7. the right to food.

 

EOHR monitored in 2008 and 2009 about 51 violation cases to the right to food , 2009 came in the first rank with 35 cases, then 2008 with 16 cases. The 35 cases of 2009 were sectioned to: the cases which were harmed of shortage of food, the shortage of income, the increase in prices of goods, the inability to have the subsidized bread, these cases were distributed geographically as follows: Kafr Al Shiekh governorate in the first rank with 8 cases, then Al Giza, Al Menia governorates with 4 cases, then Bany Souif  governorate with 3 cases, in the fourth cases came Al Dakahlia, Qena, Al Sharqia and Assiout governorates with 2 cases for each, in the last rank came Cairo, Marsa Matrouh, Al Kalioubia, Al Faioum, Ismailia, Damietta, Al Bahr Al Ahmar and Aswan governorates with one case for each.

 

8. the right to social security

 

EOHR monitored in 2009 about 19 violation cases to this right, Al Giza governorate came in the first rank with 4 cases, after it came Al Dakahlia, Cairo and Al Menia governorates with 3 cases, in the last rank came Kafr Al Shiekh, Al Qalioubia, Alexandria, Qena, Matrouh and Aswan governorates with one case for each.

The cases of violation for the right to social security wasn’t limited to the request for the payment of the pension but it was variable between: 9 cases for the request for pension increase, 7 cases for the request of pension payment, 3 cases related to the complain from the served services.

 

The third section: the interaction with the international mechanisms of human rights.

There are 8 committees were established according to international conventions and treaties which were ratified by the U.N., so as to follow up the execution of the member states to it’s provisions, these committees submit it’s reports to the U.N. Human Rights Council, these committees also is presenting it’s point of view, recommendation and suggestions in these reports to facilitate the job of the council.

These 8 committees are: the committee on Human Rights, the committee on racial discrimination, the committee on economical, social and cultural rights, the committee on the elimination of discrimination against women, the committee against torture, the committee for children, the committee with disabilities. According to these committees the governments shall present periodical reports, but it is observed here that:

Firstly: the delay of the Egyptian government in presenting it’s reports to the committees on treaties, the last report was presented in 2000 and from that time till 2009 no other reports were submitted, aside from a report was submitted to the committee on women in 2007 and another report submitted to the committee on children in 2008.

Secondly: the execution of recommendations, in addition to the delay of the Egyptian government in presenting it’s periodical reports to the competent committees, the Egyptian government didn’t commit to the execution of recommendations these committees specially these recommendations on torture and emergency law.

Concerning the visit of the special rapporteur, the special rapporteur is facing a lot of obstacles, as he shall has the permission for this visit from the country and if the country refused this action isn’t subjected to any kind of punishment. The 11th session for U.N. Human Rights Council announced the existence of non cooperation with special rapporteurs till now, as what had happened when the special rapporteur on torture asked Algeria since 1997, Egypt since, Iraq since 2005, Libya since 2005, Saudi Arabia since 2005, Syria since 2005, Tunisia since 1998, and Yemen since 2005, and he wasn’t permitted to visit them till now, the last recommendations for the 11th session of U.N. Human Rights Council and the U.N. high commissioner for human rights called for the necessity of providing more assistance to the special rapporteurs in the countries they visit, according to the decision of the U.N. Human Rights Council No 5/2.

The Egyptian government permitted the special rapporteur on human rights to visit it, in the context of combating terrorism (17- 4-2009).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The fourth section: the state of human rights…international visions

 

This section dealt with the state of human rights in Egypt in the reports of the international organizations for human rights, the reports of the international and local Egyptian organizations for human rights had agreed with the reports of the last year on that there are a lot  of Egyptian files which need to be reconsidered and amended according to the Egyptian pledge to the U.N. Human Rights Council and the international treaties on human rights ratified by the Egyptian government.

One of the most important files is the file of the continuation of the emergency state since 1981, the continuation of the trial of civilians in front of the special and the military courts, the spread of the torture in police stations, prisons and the detention centers subjected to state security investigation, the violations to the freedom of association, the violations to the freedom of opinion and expression, referring journalists to trials, the spread of violence against women, and the deterioration of the state of the economical and social human rights specially the right to housing and health.

 

The fifth section: the activities of EOHR through 2009

 

This section includes numerical and statistical show for the activity of EOHR during 2009 and it’s comparison to the previous years, on the level of:

The first aspect: the civic work.

This aspect dealt with the activity of the civic work unit in 2009 in the fields of dealing with complaints, fact finding missions, monitoring trials and investigations and visiting prisons. EOHR has received in 2009 about 5500 complaints and took the needed legal procedures to solve about 3188 complaints, sent 68 fact finding missions, followed up the missions of 129 cases including state security misdemeanor, attended 37 investigation in the public prosecution and state security prosecution, and visited the prisons about 30 times and met 25 of the prisoners in Abu Zaabal, Leman Tora, Al Marg, Borg El ASrab, Wdi El Natroun, Al Fayoum and Damanhour prisons.

 

The second aspect: the activity of EOHR in the area of  notifying the internal and external public opinion with state of human rights in Egypt in 2009.

EOHR has issued about 81 statement and report on the different violations monitored by EOHR, 8 qualitative reports, one training event, 6 conferences, 16 seminars and workshops.

 

The third aspect: the media activity for EOHR

 

This aspect includes the monitoring of the most important cases stimulated by EOHR and covered by the Egyptian and Arab press, the number of news which mentioned EOHR activities in 2009 about 360 news were issued in the different Egyptian press.

 

The fourth aspect: the international activity for EOHR

 

This aspect is dealing with the international conferences, seminars and meetings attended by EOHR in 2009 as, the participation of the secretary general of EOHR in seminar entitled ” towards an international stoppage to the death penalty. The case in the Arab states.” which was held in Madrid/Spain on 14 and 15 July 2009, the participation of EOHR in ” the amendment of the criminal punishment in Algeria and the activation of U.N. recommendations on the stoppage of death penalty” seminar ,which was held in Algerian capital on 12 and 13 January 2009, also EOHR attended a program concerning ” the electoral systems in the Arab world” in Lebanon from 12 to 14 June 2009, in addition to attending the meetings of FIDH held from 2 to 5 July 2009.

 

The fifth aspect: the books and newsletters issued in 2009.

This aspect dealt with the publications of EOHR through 2009, which are:

         6 issues of human rights magazine.

         ” towards a new law for NGOs” book.

         ” towards a new law for press freedom” book.

         ” towards a new law for political parties” book.

         ” the freedom of opinion and expression in Egypt.. the reality and the prospects of the future” book.

         ” the political parties in Egypt.. the reality and the prospects of the future” book

         ” the guarantees for the independence of the judicial authority and the judges in Egypt” book.

         ” towards a democratic rules for the civil society in Egypt” book.

         ” the terrorism combating observatory, through supporting democracy, the message and the content” book.

         A book which dealt with the report of EOHR on the right to freedom of expression and opinion through 10 years entitled ” in the light of  muzzle the mouth policy… when does the presidential promise of 2004 come true?”.

         ” the guidelines for the right to assembly and association in the Arab world” book.

         The annual report for 2008.

 

The sixth aspect: EOHR website

 

EOHR website has witnessed a lot of developments in 2009, as it has took an Arabic global ranking in the list of human rights’ websites, and became No.

 

 

 

 

Recommendations

 

 

EOHR submits –through its annual report 2009 – a set of demands and recommendations some of them related to the process of legal and constitutional  reformation, while others are concerned with the situation of human rights, and the other related to put the recommendations of UN Human Rights Council  in action.

 

 

 

 

First : recommendations to UN Human Rights Council

 

EOHR at the conclusion of its annual report 2009 confirms on the importance of the government’s approval on all recommendations issued by UN Human Rights Council which the government postponed to study them till June 2010, at the same time EOHR stressed on reconsidering the recommendations rejected by the government which reached 119 recommendations, EOHR calls for setting a timetable and a mechanism for applications approved by the government, EOHR in its annual reports called for implementing them especially for the following files:

 

 

 

1-     Torture

 

         Adhere to the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture (France).
– Invite the Special Rapporteur on torture without delay and facilitate his visit to Egypt (Netherlands).
– Reform article 129 and 126 of the Penal Code regarding the crime of torture in order to broaden the scope of punishable conduct and prevent impunity for perpetrators. (Spain).
– Amending Article 126 of the Penal Code to bring into line with the Convention against Torture (Ireland).
– Accede to the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture and other cruel , inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.. (Czech Republic).
– To ensure that the crime of torture is punished in accordance with the comprehensive definition as stated in Article 1 of the International Convention against Torture. (Germany).
– Consider ratifying the Rome Statute and the Optional Protocols to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, the Convention against Torture and other cruel , in human or degrading treatment or punishment and to the Convention on the Rights of persons with disabilities. (Brazil)
– Ratify the Optional Protocols to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Optional Protocol to the Convention against torture and other cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment or punishment, and the Rome Statute. (Chile)

 

2-     Emergency

 

 

         Dealing with the mechanisms of international human rights:
– Allow the visits of human rights special procedures that are pending to take place in a timely manner and consider issuing a standing invitation to the human rights special procedures. (
Czech Republic).
– Respond positively to the repeated requests for a visit by the special Rappoteurs on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment; on the independence of judges and lawyers; on the situation of human rights defenders, on freedom of religion and belief; on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary execution; on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography; and by the working group on arbitrary detention ( Spain).
– Extend an early invitation to the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture (Ireland).
– Reply favorably to the request by the UN Special Rapporteur against torture for a visit and extend its full support to such a mission. (Sweden).
– Issue an open and standing invitation to all special procedures ( Spain).
-Issue an open and standing invitation to all special procedures, particularly to the Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment (Belgium).
– Allow the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights while countering terrorism free access to detention centers and communication with prisoners during his next visit (Spain).
– Ratify individual complaint mechanisms of UN treaty bodies (Australia ).

 

 

4 – Law of NGOs
– Amend articles 11, 17 42, of the current NGOs law No. 84 of 2002, to ensure that NGOs activities and activities of all human rights defenders not be inhibited and their ability to raise finance be impeded .
(Ireland).
– Pass legislation that allows NGOs to accept foreign funding without prior government approval, legislation that allows for increased freedom of association and assembly and legislation allowing labour unions to operate without joining the Egyptian trade union federation (United States).
5 – Monitoring elections
– Invite independent national and international election monitoring teams to the upcoming elections(Australia).

 

6- – Abolition of the death penalty

 

         Abolition of the death penalty by adopting a stop this activity, and modify both sentences, and try to limit the number of crimes that deserve the death penalty (France).
– Take the decision to suspend the activity as a first step on all death sentences, and completely elimination it (Switzerland).
– Consider the application of the death penalty to abolish it completely in the near future (Greece).

 

7 – Withdraw reservations to the Convention on Discrimination
– Withdraw all reservations to Articles 2, 16 of the Covenant for the elimination of all forms of Discrimination against Women (France).
– Withdraw all reservations to the Covenant for the elimination of all forms of Discrimination against Women (Ireland)

 

 

 

Second:

 

 

The legal and constitutional reformation

 

On the legislative level:

 

1-     amending some articles related to torture in the Penal Code and Criminal Procedures Code, EOHR has already submitted these amendments in 2003 to the parliament which focused on the following aspects:

 

– the torture crime in the Egyptian law and its amendment in accordance with the international covenants to include the definition of torture crime as stated in the convention against torture ratified by Egypt in 1986 to confront the phenomenon Impunity and harsher the punishment against perpetrators of crimes of torture and the inadmissibility of the use of clemency and extenuating circumstances of the sanction. Giving effect to the right of victims to file a criminal lawsuit against the perpetrators of torture, the bill submitted to the parliament included without limitation the amendment of articles 126 129 280 of the Penal Code, articles 63 232 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (1).

 

 

2. The need to modify Law 73/1956 on exercising political rights and its amendments of law 173/2005 to ensure the monitoring of local organizations of the electoral processes, which requires a legislative amendment to legalize this process to put the monitoring of elections and public surveys by national and international organizations in a legal framework. This, in turn, guarantees enabling these organizations to monitor inside and outside the balloting stations, with the necessity that the sorting process is public and that the candidates, their agents, and the organizations are able to attend the vote counting of each box and that each box is sorted in the electoral headquarters, and that the candidates, their agents receive a copy of the vote count of each box.

 

Within this framework, EOHR reapplies for issuing a new law for practicing political rights. This is due to the change in circumstances under which this law has been issued, now that these circumstances has changed in part and altogether. This is because the law was issued in 1956 under the regime of the one ruling party, controlling of and dominating the military life, and also because of the many faults and holes in it.

 

It is worth mentioning that EOHR have presented in 2005 a draft for an alternative law to the law of practicing political rights entitled “The Law of General Elections and Surveys,”[1] which included terms of practicing political rights, voter registration, the authority responsible for the election procedures, the organization of processes of election and survey, electoral rallying, and election crimes and their penalties. The draft was adopted by a group of ex-members of the People’s Assembly. EOHR has also previously presented another draft for a first of its kind anti-corruption law of electoral campaigns which includes:

 

* The need to limit the spending on electoral campaigns.

* Criminalizing electoral bribery.

* The need to cap on the spending of a candidate on the campaign.

* The need for the candidate to open a bank account in a certified bank in which all the campaign sums and all the received donations are entered, and that withdrawing from this account takes place under the supervision of a certified legal accountant.

*  After the campaign ends, the candidate must present the High Committee of Elections all the records he used and all the monetary exchanges related to the campaign along with documents which confirms them. The candidate must also present a bank account statement to include the statements of all the monetary activity of the account. In the case of the candidate exceeding the spending limit on the campaign, the committee will have the authority to dismiss the candidate and consider his candidacy invalid, even if he or she wins, and to compensate candidates harmed by such violation.        

 

In the Parliament’s new round, EOHR re-presents both drafts -The Law of General Elections and Surveys, and the Anti Corruption law.

 

 

3. Modify the Shura Council law 120/1980 and its amendments of law 176/2005 which concerns the method of choosing the council’s members and their privileges.[2] EOHR sees the Shura Council in its current form more like a specialized national council. Although one third of its members are elected and the other third are appointed, the council has no specialization and no privileges. Therefore, the constitutional modification must include an amendment to the law regulating the Shura Council so that a system of two councils may take place, and that it has the authority of legislation and of monitoring the government as it was in 1923. This way the council will also have the right to include any amendment in the national general budget. The council is also prohibited to authorize the President in any of its areas of specialties, especially its legalizing powers, except in the case of the occurrence of natural disasters or an external attack, and any other authorization is to be considered void and ineffective. As for the council’s composition, the members must be chosen through a free direct election and not by appointing one third of the members as it is done now, and that the council’s president, its representatives, and its office from the council’s elected members.              

 

4. Draft a new law for the local administration to allow supporting decentralized governance and to give wide privileges to the local authorities and administrations in the various governorates to achieve decent governance.[3] This decentralization must be complete and comprehensive as it is only a transfer of responsibilities not authorities, and it is not authority without financial capability. It is also not giving the local administrations more authority without preparing the appropriate environment that encourages citizens to participate and choose the persons able to take responsibility in the face of the voters and those who play their roles objectively and away from prejudices. Above all, it is the political will and personal conviction.            

 

 

5. Repeal Law 40/1977 for political parties and its amendment 177/2007, and draft a new law for the parties to include the following rules [4]:

Formation of political parties by notification, given that the law only states general regulations that permits peaceful and democratic political expression of all the orientations of the Egyptian people. Prohibiting the forming of parties with military or paramilitary organizations, or parties with religious, denominational, sectarian, and ethnic basis. That the parties are free to launch any number of newspapers for the party and multimedia platforms simply through notifying the responsible authority. That the parties are free to hold meetings, seminars, and conferences without obtaining prior permission from the concerned bodies. That the parties are funded on its members’ subscriptions and their donations, unconditional gifts, and the funds given by the state budget, and that parties adhere to accountability and transparency standards. That the party is exempt from all taxes and other fees related to its headquarters, newspapers, and all its activities, and that the denotations received by the party from Egyptians are exempt from specialized taxes.

 

6. Draft an alternative law to Law 84/2007 as it hinders the work of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and the development and evolution of civil society, and considering the draft of the law as presented by EOHR, Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies, and a number of other organizations in November 2008 to be an alternative for the above mentioned law 84/2002 [5]. This draft is based on international human rights standards particularly regarding the right to organize.  

7. Repeal Law 100/1993, known as the law of “Guarantees to the Democracy of Syndicates’ Organizations” amended by law 5/1995. Apply the right of each syndicate to formulate a law to organize its activity. This is since the above mentioned law paralyzes the activity of syndicates as well as being constitutionally unapproved since it hasn’t been presented to the People’s Assembly, the Shura Council, or the State Council.         

 

8. Modify Law 35/1976 of the labor unions and its amendments (Law 1/1981 and 12/1995).

9. Modify the law of judiciary power to guarantee the genuine independence of the judiciary system from the executive systems. Although the Constitution states in articles 165 and 166 that the judiciary system must be free, this is not so in reality as the executive powers enjoys broad powers and privileges which practically restricts the independence of the judiciary system.   

 

10. Revoke transferring citizens to military courts, and modifying Military Law 25/1966 so that it is restricted to the trials of military personnel only for military crimes, and of crimes taking place in military units and barracks.   

11. Draft a unified law for houses of worship, and laying unified rules for the construction of houses of worship which reply on a number of standards including for example population density and geographical distribution.  

 

12. Cancel or limit Egypt‘s reservations about international treaties related to freedom of thought, expression, and press, since leaving these reservations and its generalizations leads to the possibility of violating these treaties through national legislations. Revoke the imprisonment penalty for publishing crimes, a penalty which the President has promised to revoke in February 2004. This is done to promote the freedom of press and media, and this means to suffice with a monetary penalty with setting an upper limits for these fines, with the condition that those harmed by the published material are free to reply in the same newspaper and to press charges for compensation in civil court. Revise all legislations concerning freedom of expression, publishing, and printing, distributed in several laws among which the press law, the Penal Code, the law of the regulation of the press, the law of State documents, the law of state civil workers, the law of military news and military rulings, the law of syndicates, and the law of the intelligence agency [6]. It is also important to draft a law for the freedom of information and its circulation that reflects international standards of democratic societies.        

 

13. Draft a special law for forced disappearance criminalizing each such act and penalizing who participates, aids, or urges it. The need to fast decisions on reports presented by human rights organizations to the Attorney General concerning cases of forced disappearances, and the presentation of the legal actions taken regarding these reports, and announcing the investigation results in such cases to the general public.    

 

Constitutional Amendments:

* Modify Article 76 of the Constitution to allow for a wider participation of independents and parties and under concessional terms, so as to read: “The President is elected through direct secret public ballot, and to be accepted into candidacy, the candidate must be approved by 130 of the elected members in the Shura Council, the People’s Assembly, and the local people’s assemblies, so that at least 20 of which are members in the Shura Council or the People’s Assembly and so that those from the local people’s assemblies are representatives of 10 governorates at least, or that the candidate is a leader in a party with a representative elected member in one of the two councils.”       

 

*Modify Article 77 of the Constitution concerning limiting the period of being President to read: “The period of Presidency of the Republic is five Julian calendar years starting from the date of the announcement of the election results, and the President can only be re-elected once.”    

 

*Revise Article 179 of the Constitution because it will lead to the legalization of the State of Emergency as a constitutional state which will eventually result in abusing the basic rights and liberties of citizens. This, in turn, contradicts that the Constitution must be free of statements detracting from the proper protection of human rights, and from the need to monitor of the judiciary system prior to any procedures related to combating terrorism and respecting defense rights.     

 

*Activate the citizenship principle stated in Article 1 of the Constitution which states that “the Arab Republic of Egypt is a democratic state based on citizenship,” and draft a law with the rights of citizenship as its starting point. All stakeholders and specialized nationals will participate in drafting this law. This will take place through a citizenship committee in the People’s Assembly to include official representatives in media, education, endowment, security, the Church, Al-Azhar, political parties, and civil society organizations. This committee will be involved in all citizenship related issues, and it will put practical solutions to terminate symptoms of sectarian and denominational conflicts that appears from time to time, and to any newly occurring problems between Muslims and Christians. We propose that the citizenship law states that “without discrimination, all Egyptians deserve to enjoy all the rights stated in international convents, charters, and treaties of human rights. These rights are indispensable elements of citizenship, and under no circumstance or claim should any Egyptian be deprived these rights.” It may also state that “All the citizenship rights are to be practiced with equality with no discrimination on the basis of religion, gender, region, affiliation, claims of origin or wealth, or any other consideration.”          

 

Third: The System of Rights

 

1. Lift the state of emergency which is effective since 1981 under the emergency law (162/1958) due to its harmful and dangerous effects on the institution of human rights in Egypt and the hindering of peaceful democratic development in society. Restrict the declaration of a state of emergency to actual war and general catastrophes only, and then only for a definite limited period to be renewed under precise terms and under real supervision and monitoring by the executive powers. Return to constitutional legality and normal law.

 

2. Not to hurry the issuance of new anti-terrorism law since Egyptian legislation is no need of a new anti-terrorism law. There is already an existing law, Law 97/1992, but if the government wishes to issue a new anti-terrorism law, then this law must be primarily based on creating a balance between human rights and combating terrorism especially the right of fair trial and the protection of privacy. This in addition to committing to the Berlin Declaration issued in August 2004 which includes many obligations on states for the protection of human rights while combating terrorism, and executing the Security Council’s decision 4561(2003) and 16241(2005) and General Assembly resolutions 57/219, 58/187, 59/191, as well as the United Nations global strategy for combating terrorism. In addition, the guarantees and rights of the accused as stated in Egyptian law and Constitution must be respected especially the right of fair trial and the protection of privacy. The drafters of the new anti-terrorism law must also respect these rights following Egypt‘s international agreements.       

 

3. The Egyptian Government is to ratify all international mechanisms for human rights and international anti-terrorism instruments and execute them including the optional protocol attached to the anti-torture conventions. 

 

With respect to torture, EOHR confirms that the occurrence of nearly 29 incidents of torture in 2009 is a dangerous indicator of the decline of the human rights state in the country, and that it exposes legal inability to stop, prosecute, and punish these torturers and thus torture has become a “phenomenon” in Egyptian society. This calls for taking all legal and practical steps starting with the comprehensive utilization of all the items in the international convention against torture, and cruel and inhumane treatments. These steps include:     

 

*The need for the Egyptian Government to ratify Articles 21 and 22 of the international anti-torture agreement, through which the United Nations’ anti-torture committee may address the reports presented by countries and persons concerning Egypt’s violation of its adherence to the agreement. The ratification of the Egyptian Government to these two articles will be evidence that the authorities have nothing to fear in the future concerning its commitment to criminalize torture and maltreatment in prisons and detention centers.    

 

*Modify Article 126 from the Penal Code in line with Article 1 of the international anti-torture convention, ratified by Egypt in 1986, which defines torture as psychological or physical pain or suffering whose purpose is not confined to extract confessions only, as stated in Egyptian law. 

 

* A speedy decision on the project that EOHR have presented before to amend some torture related articles in the Law of Penalties (Articles 126, 129, 280) and the Law of Criminal Procedures (Articles 63, 232).

* An immediate investigation by the General Prosecution in the reports presented by institutions, persons, and human rights organization concerning the violations faced by prisoners, and announcing the results of these investigations.

* The need for the General Prosecution to do periodic inspections on police centers, police stations, and detention centers to identify the legal status of detainees, and to seize torture tools and penalize their users.

* Run an administrative investigation in parallel with the investigations done by the General Prosecution with police officers guilty of violating the law against citizens in police stations, and disciplining them.

 

* Create an independent and permanent investigation “mechanism” to include judges, lawyers, and physicians to check all torture allegations taking place in police centers and stations, and to prosecute those responsible for torture. This is given that it acquires the authority to enter all detention centers and to access the information it needs and the people it wishes to listen to. In addition, its role should not be restricted to legal matters but that it expands to political, social, and psychological dimensions of the phenomenon of violence in police centers, and it should also offer solutions to eradicate this phenomenon.

 

* Prepare educational and instructional courses to police officers, particularly those working in criminal investigations departments, on proper treatment of detainees in police centers to guarantee the dignity of the citizen and his basic liberties as described in the Constitution, the Law, international human rights treaties ratified by Egypt. In addition, the subject of human rights is to be taught in police academy curricula, the training centers where police officers prepare and especially the centers of police trustees and representatives.            

     

4. End arbitrary arrests which constitute a violation of the person’s liberty and security rights stated in Article 41 in the Constitution. EOHR also strongly recommends the repeal of the Emergency Law as it is the legal tool used to strip citizens off this right and other rights given by the Egyptian Constitution and international human rights treaties.

 

5. Modify Law 396/1956, relating to the organization of prisons and the internal laws related to it, so that it conforms to the Egyptian Constitution, international human rights treaties, and the minimum basic principles of treating prisoners. This would, in effect, guarantees that prisoners and other detainees are not subject to torture and maltreatment, as well as guaranteeing the prison’s rights to education, health care, sufficient nutrition, exercise, visits, and contact with the outside world. This all goes hand in hand with the modern penal policy that aims at rehabilitating the prisoners and reintegrating them with their societies. UN rules make the minimum standards for non-detention practices (the Tokyo Rules) which include a set of basic principles to improve the use of non-detention practices and the minimum guarantees for persons subject to detention alternatives with canceling the supervision of the Ministry of Interior on prisons and that they go under the Ministry of Justice taking into account the following:         

 

A) Work with an Executive Criminal Judge system, his task being to supervise the execution of criminal verdicts and to also attend to complaints, appeals, and grievances from prisoners for actions carried out against them in prisons.

 

B) Creation a special prosecution to help the executive judge and to guarantee the monitoring and judiciary supervision of prisons.

 

C) Activate the role of Public Prosecution in the inspection of prisons and expand the scope of this inspection to include the places where   persons are detained, primarily the headquarters of the State Security and the security directorates in the capital and other governorates, police stations, as well as places of detention defined as such by a decision from the Minister of the Interior. The power of inspection should be extended to all members of the public prosecutor office and not confined to the head prosecutors and the heads of courts due to their small number.

 

D) Speedy investigation of reports submitted by bodies and individuals of the attacks faced by detainees in prisons and other places of detention.

 

E) To issue firm directions to the correctional services officers to abide by the law and to facilitate the task of public prosecution in inspecting detention areas. To take deterring administrative penalties on those who break the law, insult the dignity of the citizen, or impede the work of the Public Prosecution.

]

F) The abolition of the phenomenon of the closed prisons, which is among the most important obstacles impeding the exercise of the right to visit and correspondence, as well as the need to prolong the duration of visits and to improve the conditions under which it takes place. This is in line with the standard minimum rules for the treatment of prisoners and the international human rights agreements ratified by the Egyptian government. To reduce the number of prisoners in cells.

 

6. Cancel the Supreme State Security “emergency” courts – which are formed by an order from the President and according to the Emergency Law 162/1958 and its amendments – as it is considered special courts, in that it can not in any way be challenged on its rulings, except that the President has the right to cancel its rulings, to retry those accused, and also to cancel the penalties given, and that its verdicts are not considered final until after the President ratifies them.

 

7. Ensure the citizen’s right to be tried before an ordinary court, and that he enjoys all his legal rights in the courts hierarchy and his right to challenge the provisions under the law, and that the Government implements fair trial standards even with those who preformed terrorist acts.

 

8. Work on a legal mechanism for criminalizing and penalizing the withholding of information from journalists, by any government or public authority, the prohibition of imposing any restrictions on the free flow of information, without taking away fom the requirements of defense and national security. Also emphasizing non-discrimination in access to information among the various newspapers.

 

9. Repeal the law of assembly Law 10/1914 and 14/1923 and replace them by another law for organizing the right to demonstrate in accordance with constitutional and international standards, so that exercising of this right is done by notifying the Ministry of the Interior of all information related to the march including the direction, time, duration, place of the march, and the specified path so as to not disrupt traffic.

 

Economic and social rights:

– Call on the Egyptian government to join and ratify the conventions on the protection of workers and women workers, and the need to activate the role of the Ministry of Manpower in the investigation of workers’ complaints whose rights are their rights by employers, and to find effective means to implement the rulings in favor of workers, and work to install temporary employment in both the formal and non-formal sections.

– Modify the Unified Labor Law 12/2003 to achieve a balance between the interests of workers and employers, taking into account income levels  and the livelihood of citizens, and giving the freedom to form organizations, labor union, associations and NGOs that organize, defend, and foster the interests of the working class.

– Open communal dialogue about the health insurance bill proposed by putting the draft up for discussion about openly and with the participation of various political parties and civil society organizations, so that the new law includes all citizens without adding new burdens on them as well as the right of the unemployed in obtaining the health insurance service without anything in return, and the need to work on improving the service through appointing competent doctors and nurses and constructing hospitals equipped with the latest treatment equipment.

– The government is to review its housing policies by enabling low income and poor people to enjoy the right to adequate housing where there are privacy, safety and health standards, and to provide financial compensation to the victims of forced evictions and demolition of houses and to find suitable alternatives for people living in these houses, and to develop a comprehensive plan to remove the slums that can not be developed, and to supply new cities with facilities and basic services.

 

 

 

 

This entry was posted on Wednesday, July 14th, 2010 at 5:09 pm and is filed under Annual Report. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Responses are currently closed, but you can trackback from your own site.

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