Mr.Hafez Abu Seada visited Geneva to attend the UN International Council on Human Rights.

September 17th, 2013 by Editor

Abu Seada, “The current road map places Egypt among the ranks of countries that promote democracy and human rights”

Mr. Hafez Abu Seada, President of EOHR, confirmed in his meeting with members of the International Council for Human Rights in Geneva, that the organization, since its inception in 1985, has defended human rights and public freedoms of citizens. Furthermore, the Organization has presented violations inflicted upon the citizens on a neutral and systematic manner and with the utmost transparency, and that it made the maximum effort during the critical transitional period after the deposition of President Hosni Mubarak, in order to achieve democracy and the rule of law.

Abu Seada further added that Egypt at the moment faces too many challenges; as human rights violations have not stopped since the Mubarak era, but continued in the era of the deposed President Mohamed Morsi, who did not put any limits to eliminate human rights violations. This led to the deterioration of the political, social and security situation at all levels, which prompted crowds of Egyptians to go out and demonstrate on the thirtieth of June, to announce their refusal to continue under the guise of the failed rule of president Morsi.

Abu Seada has addressed human rights violations during Morsi’s era such as the siege of the Supreme Constitutional Court – the highest judicial bodies in Egypt, the arbitrary trials of  political activists on in clear and blatant challenge to freedom of opinion and expression, writing non-consensual constitution, that served the interests of  Islamic movements with the exclusion of all other groups from the political scene; which led to the deepening of the gap between the spectra of the Egyptian society, as well as disrespecting the most basic human rights and fundamental freedoms, lack of compatibility with international charters and conventions on human rights, and renouncing the rights of specific groups such as women and children, in addition to the spread of violent political speeches against religious minorities in Egypt.

Abu Seada added that after the Egyptian people had ousted the former president, Morsi, his supporters intended to use excessive violence towards peaceful citizens in different parts of the country, prompting security to intervene so as not to exacerbate things; this had led to casualties among the police, the army and the citizens.

Abu Seada added that there are many challenges that face n Egypt, such as the need to write a constitution based on consensus which expresses the demands of political forces; also that constitution should be built on international charters and conventions of human rights, especially when it comes to the section of rights and freedoms. Moreover, extremist groups resorting to violence; resulting in the activation of the state of emergency and putting restrictions on the rights and freedoms of ordinary citizens represents one of the challenges that face Egypt.

Then Mr. Abu Seada addressed the issue of amending law No. 84/2002 of the Civil Society Organizations, as he regards civil society as a crucial partner along with the Egyptian government to serve the society. He also stressed on the necessity of drafting a new law that will ensure the right of assembly and organization for civil society associations and institutions.

–         Afterwards, Mr. Hafez proposed the Organization’s vision about the current transitional period which is established on some key points that will be included in the program of transitional justice. These points are the just implementation of punishments, respect of the law and using international conventions and agreements on human rights as primary sources of the law, preparing reports of past and present human rights violations to be presented before the Egyptian Public Opinion; this will be based on objectivity and transparency, the respect of human rights and freedoms and facing any violations of human rights, reforming state institutions, notably the police and punishment facilities, bridging the gap between the state and civil society organizations, fighting political and social exclusion, proposing new laws to fight the crime of torture, and  supporting the road map that will put Egypt on the right track to achieve democracy.

–         Finally, Mr. Abu Seada has mentioned some positive indicators concerning the promotion of human rights in Egypt including the approval of the Prime Minister on drafting a new law to fight the crime of torture; this draft law is proposed by the High Council for Human Rights in collaboration with EOHR. Also the preparation of the new civil society organizations’ law to reinforce the philosophy of freeing the work of civil society associates, as well as preparing a law of labor unions to defend the rights of workers and to protect the unions’ organization in Egypt. Also, it will be a positive indicator if the establishment of the regional office of the High Commission for Human Rights in Egypt is approved; this will be a good indicator on good intention and determination of activating international mechanisms in Egypt.


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