EOHR warns Egypt’s House of Representatives not to violate freedom of faith

December 28th, 2017 by Editor

EOHR warns Egypt’s House of Representatives not to violate freedom of faith

 

The Egyptian Organization for Human Rights (EOHR) views the recent draft law proposal that incriminates atheism in Egypt’s house of representatives with great concern. The draft proposal was submitted by MP Amr Hamroush and it punishes atheism with imprisonment. The details of this draft proposal are not out yet however merely entertaining such bizarre ideas is dangerous as it clearly disregards Egypt’s constitution and universal principles of human rights that guarantee freedom of faith in absolute unconditional terms.

EOHR fears that if this law passes it will present a huge blow to human rights and freedoms in Egypt, and it will open the door for an atmosphere of intellectual and dogmatic terrorism that places restrictions on freedom of expression, silences thinkers, and intimidates reformers. EOHR fails to see the necessity of this law especially that the article 98 of the criminal code punishes those who allegedly offend religion with prison sentences from 6 months to 5 years. The Human Rights community has always demanded the cancellation of this article as it contradicts the constitutional achievements that came as a result of the revolutions of January 2011 and June 2013. Instead of listening to these legitimate urges, parliament is discussing this shameful draft proposal that can only be describes as a blasphemy law in 21st century.

Article 98 and the new draft legislation banning atheism collide with article 64 of the constitution, article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. All of the aforementioned documents stipulate absolute freedom of faith. Therefor Egypt’s Government, Parliament and Judiciary are obligated domestically to uphold the articles of its constitution, amend existing laws to be in line with those very articles and refrain from issuing any legislations that violate them; Internationally the government of Egypt is obligated to respect and enforce International Human Rights law, as well as UPR recommendations it has accepted in the session of November 2014 which clearly called upon Egypt to respect religious freedoms and freedom of faith.

EOHR calls upon the house of representatives to dismiss this shameful draft proposal as it violates the core principles of human rights and the Egyptian constitution.

Dr. Hafez Abu Seada president of EOHR harshly criticized the draft proposal calling it a violation of the Egyptian constitution. Abu Seada added that this draft law if passed will take Egypt back to a period similar to the inquisitions of the European dark age.

 

 

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