Egypt human rights committee demands detainees’ release

Egypt human rights committee demands detainees’ release

CAIRO: Members of the Committee on Human Rights of the People’s Assembly demanded the presence of any representative of the ministry of interior in Parliament to introduce the ministry’s security policy under the emergency law recently approved by the People’s Assembly. Members stressed in the meeting the need for the interior ministry to “justify the position of the detainees who had received verdicts for their release.”

Members asked for the need for the interior ministry to make a detailed statement on the number of people imprisoned and why they were arrested and the number of those who were released, MP Hussein Ibrahim and Mahmoud Amer said in leading the request.

Maj. Gen. Rashid Hamid, Assistant Interior Minister for Legal Affairs said that the ministry is one of the first parties that is “committed to implementing the provisions on the release of detainees,” pointing out that the resolutions of the arrests are “made on the basis of precautionary measures estimated by the ministry as a result of the security situation in the country.”

He noted that the renewal of the emergency law is “justified and logical” and its implementation is in “accordance with the security situation in the country,” adding that the National Council for Human Rights is an advisory body and not an investigative one.

“It’s role is limited to receiving complaints from citizens and sending them to the concerned authorities, including the ministry of the interior,” Hamid said.

Ahmed Refaat, a representative of the National Council for Human Rights, said that under the renewal of the emergency law all detainees would be released after its introduction, he said while addressing lawmakers.

“I do not discuss past cases, which under the state of emergency was old, but the Council will monitor cases of violations of human rights under the new state of emergency,” Refaat said.

He pointed out that torture has been monitored by the National Council and has only been found in individual cases and is not widespread.

“There is no methodology in this matter,” he added, noting that the National Council reported the human rights situation in Egypt with full transparency and impartiality.

Egypt renewed the controversial emergency laws earlier this month. It gives the security forces the ability to detain individuals without charge indefinitely and forbids freedom of assembly.

Most local and international rights groups have spoken out against their renewal, saying it continues a state of fear, where the government is able to silence opposition leaders and activists through the law.

The renewal also continues the State Security courts, where alleged “terrorists” can be tried without appeal.

Republished with permission from bikya masr