EOHR holds its first Side Event at the UN head quarters in Geneva

September 12th, 2018 by Editor

EOHR holds its first Side Event at the UN head quarters in Geneva

The Egyptian Organization for Human Rights (EOHR) held a parallel entitled Enforced Disappearance in Egypt on the sidelines of the 39th session of the UN Human Rights Council at the UN headquarters in Geneva.

The participants at the event were Dr. Hafez Abu Seada the President of EOHR, Mr. Essam Shiha Secretary General of EOHR, Dr. Salah Salam member of the National Council for Human Rights (NCHR), Mr. Alaa Shalaby the Secretary General of the Arab Organization for Human Rights (AOHR), Mr. Tarek Zaghloul the Executive Director of EOHR and Mohamed Osman the International Relations Coordinator of EOHR. The event was also a attended by a considerable number of human rights activists, UN official, diplomats and members of the press.

The session was moderated by Dr. Hafez Abu Seada, who made some important points among them:

  • Since 2015, EOHR has received 700 reports of enforced disappearances. We received 500 responses from the Ministry of the Interior indicating that those reported cases were indeed held in preventive custody pending trial. It has also become clear that some reported cases turned out to have left to join terrorist organizations in Egypt and abroad and this was proven when they appeared in videos released by terrorist organizations mourning their martyrdom. EOHR also discovered that some cases turned out to have illegally immigrated to other countries.
  • The most important step is the government’s response to complaints not only by EOHR and NCHR, but also by the UN Working Group on Enforced or involuntary Disappearance. We have to encourage this approach, to cooperate with NCHR and to respond to the recommendations of the it’s report, leading to a complete end to the phenomenon of enforced disappearance.

 From his side Mr. Essam Shiha said the following:

  • EOHR stresses that although the term of enforced disappearance is not used in the Constitution or Egyptian law, the new Constitution and the Penal Code and criminal procedures law indirectly guarantee the criminalization of the penalty of enforced disappearance, and this is clearly reflected in Articles 51, 54, 55 and 59 of The Egyptian Constitution and articles 40, 42 and 43 of the Code of the Criminal Procedures law and Article 280 of the Penal Code.
  • However, EOHR sees the necessity of enacting a special law that criminalizes all acts of enforced disappearance and to punish anyone who participates in, contributes to or instigates it, and the House of Representatives should exercise strict oversight over the security services and monitors their compliance with the Constitution and the law.

 Dr. Salah Salam discussed NCHR’s report on enforced disappearance and made the following remarks:

  • The number of complaints received by NCHR was 266, the fate of 238 was clarified, and the rest were found to have emigrated illegally or to have joined terrorist organizations. These findings were reached after addressing the General Prosecution and the Ministry of the Interior.

 

Mr. Alaa Shalaby gave a statement as well to address the phenomenon from a regional Arab perspective that included:

  • Enforced disappearance is a phenomenon that has roots in Arab states that date back to the 1970s and among the most infamous of such violations was the abduction of Libyan politician and dissident Mansour Khekhia from Cairo in 1993 and taken to Libya. His fate was discovered after the fall of Mummar Gaddafi and turrned out that Khekhia died in secret detention in 1997.
  • Before talking about enforced disappearances in Egypt , we must notify the Public Prosecution and wait for a period of time to receive a responses. There are many allegations about the number of disappeared in Egypt and then it becomes clear that some of the alleged victims have joined terrorist groups.

 Mohamed Osman, the coordinator of international relations of EOHR, presented statistics from the NCHR report and from the latest report by the UN Working Group on enforced or involuntary disappearance. Osman also presented the recommendations of EOHR, and stressed the need for Egypt to sign and ratify the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance

 

 

 

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