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Human Rights Report Egypt's Permanent State of Emergency  Incompatible with Free and Fair Vote
Human Rights Report Egypt's Permanent State of Emergency Incompatible with Free and Fair Vote
In light of the mass and unjust arbitrary arrests in the lead to the elections, monopolizing of media and evident intimidation measures against opposition a 24-page report by human rights titled, "Elections in Egypt, State of Permanent Emergency Incompatible with Free and Fair Vote, was issued. The report maintains that the widespread repression is a clear indication that there is no chance of transparency in the elections.
Thursday, November 25,2010 17:32
IkhwanWeb

In light of the mass and unjust arbitrary arrests in the lead up to the elections, along with the monopolization of the media and the evident intimidation against the opposition, a 24-page report by human rights bodies entitled, Elections in Egypt, State of Permanent Emergency Incompatible with Free and Fair Vote, was issued. The report maintains that the widespread repression is a clear indication that there is no chance of transparency in the elections. 
 
Document 3 states that Egypt has been under an Emergency Law since 1981 which has given security officials free rein to prohibit or disperse election-related rallies, demonstrations, and public meetings, and to detain people indefinitely without charge.   

In the run-up to the parliamentary poll, security officials have disrupted political rallies, public protests, and efforts made by members and supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood to compete in elections. Authorities have also refused political opposition groups permission to demonstrate, thus abusing their authority under the guise of the Emergency Law to ban all demonstrations. Human Rights Watch have witnessed security officials beating, dispersing, and arresting scores of people, including protesters, journalists, and bystanders all on the grounds that they are implementing the Emergency Law.

Other abuses and repressive measures have included the media crackdown as the regime attempts to mute any and all opposition groups, thereby tightening its grip before the presidential bid in 2011. Preventing freedom of assembly and freedom of expression are prerequisites to free and fair elections and are further indications that hard times are ahead if the Emergency Law continues to be abused.

Despite being charged as an illegal organization and being punished for it, members of the Muslim Brotherhood ran as independent candidates in 2005 and  won 88 out of the 150 constituencies they contested, thereby confirming their status as the country’s most powerful political opposition group. For this reason we see the continual clampdown on the group.
The Muslim Brotherhood has been the most targeted opposition group and the run-up to the elections is fraught with heightened hostilities as crackdowns escalate. After the October 9 announcement that it would contest 30 percent of the 518 seats in the People’s Assembly, tensions rose. Their strong presence prompted a renewed government clampdown on the organization.
Police brutality during election season in Egypt, with increased political activism, typically becomes the focus of attention and opposition parties and movements organize protests and meetings in which they call for free elections and structural reforms. Security officials view these activities with suspicion and frequently resort to arbitrary arrests and excessive use of force to disperse rallies and demonstrations.

In an independent oversight with regards to the 2010 election, the government has restricted independent judicial supervision, following the 2007 constitutional amendments which further wore down people's political rights. The government has rejected calls for international observers, insisting that Egyptian civil society organizations will ensure transparency, describing it as an insult to the nation's sovereignty therefore making it extremely difficult for citizens to freely choose the people they want to represent them in parliament.
 
The Political Parties Committee (PPC) remains the ruling party’s advocate effecting Egypt’s political arena by refusing to register new parties, freeze existing parties’ licenses, close party newspapers, reverse party decisions, or halt party activities based on undefined “national interest,” calling on the Supreme Administrative Court to dissolve the party and redistribute its funds.

At the same time, the Interior Ministry refuses to implement administrative court orders while appeals are in process, asserting that the ministry "has no objection to executing any order" but that "there could very well be an appeal by anyone with interests in the cases."

In a lame attempt at defense, Finance Minister, Yousef Boutros Ghali, argued that critics of human rights abuses and the political process in Egypt ignore the government’s economic achievements pointing to the media, the Internet, and civil society in Egypt as evidence of political openness.
 
Nevertheless, with the polls nearing the government has no interest in opening up the political arena in Egypt to allow for elections which could lead to a peaceful transition of power in Egypt. 
 

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tags: Emergency Law / Parliamentary Elecions / MB Candidates / NDP / Mubarak / Human Rights in Egypt / Crackdown / Fair Elections / 2005 Elections / Egyptian Elections / Human Rights in Egypt
Posted in Human Rights , Egypt’s 2010 Elections in the Western Media  
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