The Egyptian Organization for Human Rights’ Observer Banned from Monitoring 3 Polling Stations in Mansoura

March 19th, 2011 by Editor

The Egyptian Organization for Human Rights (EOHR) has observed during its monitoring of the process of referendum on the constitutional amendment that its observer in Mansoura was banned from monitoring 3 polling stations in Mansoura City of Dakahleya Governorate by the security forces. Those stations are the polling stations of Al Mansoura Secondary Girls School, Shagaret Al Dor Preparatory School and Al Shaheed Khaled Al Toukhy Primary School.

The testimony of EOHR’s observer, lawyer Al Sayyid Ibrahim, testified that during his attempt to access the above mentioned polling stations, the security forces refused to allow him to enter claiming that the heads of the stations took a decision to deny observer’s access to the polling stations. When he tried to enquire about this, it was revealed that some observers had invalid authorizations which led them to uphold this measure. EOHR has reported the issue to the head of the Supreme Judicial Committee (SJC) which supervises the referendum.

On his side, Mr. Hafez Abu Saeda, the Chairman of EOHR and the General Coordinator of the Egyptian Coalition for Monitoring Elections (ECME) has condemned this behavior which contradicts the necessity of having real guarantees of the integrity of the referendum. He also stressed that monitoring the referendum by the civil society organizations has nothing to do with the approval or the disapproval of any entity no matter what its authorities are. Their right to monitor the referendum comes from the credibility of these organizations and their constitutional right as protected under the international agreements and conventions signed and ratified by the consecutive Egyptian governments. These agreements and conventions were made part of Egypt’s domestic law according to the provisions of article 151 of the constitution which confirmed citizens’ rights to public participation in free elections of sound integrity.

Abu Saeda has also expressed his hope that the act of banning the observers of EOHR and other civil society organization does not reoccur for the sake of guaranteeing a democratic referendum which expresses the nature of the current new era after the revolution of the 25th of January.

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