- May 28, 2007
Egypt Joins Human Rights Council… With More Tortures
Egyptian police used force and violence to disperse peaceful demonstrators demanding judicial independence and political reform. Hundreds of members of leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood were arrested. 2006 was wrapped up while dozens of them are still behind bars on charge of belonging to an outlawed group. Some of them have been behind bars for about ten years pending trial. Among them are prisoners of conscience whore tortured and abused systematically. In most torture cases, tortures aren’t standing trial for their hideous crimes. No less than three persons were sentenced to death, and four persons were executed.
The above mentioned facts are a drop in the ocean of the Amnesty International’s report against Egypt and its human rights violations in one year. World newspapers tell us on the other hand in their front pages ” more detentions and violation of human rights in Egypt” while I got stunned by the news that Egypt became a member in the United Nations’ human rights council, specially with the unjustified increasing number detainees in Egyptian prisons. From time to time I hear about more tortures in Egyptian police stations, stirring me to ask how has Egypt reached such position under the flagrant violation of the Egyptian regime to human rights and dignity in Egypt .
At the beginning, Rafik Habib, a Coptic intellectual, says :
I think this is a part of the double standard policy Egypt is selling, a domestic image and a foreign image. This is an attempt to confirmation Egypt’s deteriorating international commitments and is a part of an international context which is based on interests. Consequently, Egypt’s membership in the council is meaningless and isn’t an evidence that Egypt is committed the human rights that it has a more effective role in the international level. This confirms only that the Egyptian regime is a part of a network of international interests. I don’t actually think that this will be have a positive impact on human rights in Egypt because it has been violating human rights for long years and there are no foreign pressures except fot some reports about tortures. Egypt was reportedly one of the Arab countries involved in the CIA’s secret renditions and Egypt has reportedly tortured detainees for the US administration. How can we expect that it changes this method because it used for serving the US administration. Thus, it will be used for the Egyptian regime. There are many Western agencies that records violations. I think the problem doesn’t lie in the not knowing tortures because nearly everything is well-know. The problem lies in the fact that there is no attitude towards the Egyptian regime due to these reports. If Egypt didn’t do what the US American administration orders it to do, those reports will be activated against the Egyptian regime.
Hussein Ibrahim, MP and Undersecretary General of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Parliamentary bloc, says:
First of all, Egypt hasn’t won the membership through a competition. The human rights council needed four countries to represent Africa in it, and only four Arab countries presented their bids. Thus, Egypt was actually appointed uncontested. Egypt’s presence in the council will not change any thing regarding the current human rights violations in Egypt. We, MPs, lodged interrogations discuss these violations according to reports of human rights organizations in addition to the Amnesty International that exposed these cases. This doesn’t mean that Egypt is, while it is in this council, free of any human rights violations. Nothing has changed on the ground. Citizens right to nominate themselves in the elections as are violated like what happens with Muslim Brotherhood candidates and their supporters.
Gamal Abdul Aziz, the manager of the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information, said:
In fact, this win is a very big hoax. Unlike the flowering picture drawn by the Egyptian regime in government vetted media, Egypt won the membership unopposed because there was no other rival from North Africa of after Tunisia withdrew. I think if there was any other rival, Egypt would have scored zero points. Its presence in the human rights council will have a negative effect. A country like Egypt which is known for its notorious human rights violations and its repression to freedom of expression, is a member in a council which is supposed to defend human rights. This wrong position will give the security forces the reign to do do any violations because the expected response will be: How Egypt violates human rights while it is a member in the human rights council. The UN member states and the United States have their own interests which make them give a deaf ear to these violations as lon as their interests are protected.
Tarek Khater , manager of the Association For Human Rights Legal Aid, referred to a statement issued by 19 human rights organizations in which they said that the Egyptian government is not worthy of becoming a member in the international human rights council, confirming this gives a false image of the real Egyptian regime attitude towards human rights under aggressions committed throughout the last years against constitutional and legislative rights. Add to this the exercise that violate the simplest human rights. It confirmed that the countries that violate human rights have a negative effect on the credibility of the UN council, and that they hinder its role in improving human rights situation. Also, reports of the local regional and international organizations in addition to UN committees rank Egypt among the worst countries that violated human rights. The Egyptian record is full of serious violations. Egypt is also ranked globally as non-free country “, and ” a country that has no free press”. Why does it take such a seat in the human rights council.!!
Nasser Amin, Director of the Arab Center for the Independence of the. Judiciary and the Legal Profession (ACIJLP), adds :
We hope that Egypt’s membership in the human rights council drives it to improve its notorious human rights file.
Kamal Habib, coordinator of the “National Campaign to Release Detainees, wonders how Egypt won this seat:
This is actually stunning and astonishing. How has Egypt got a seat in the human rights council despite its notorious and defamed files issued by the United Nations confirming that it violates all human rights ..!!