International Organization Opens Dialogue with Egypt

International Organization Opens Dialogue with Egypt

Representing the international human rights organization, Freedom House, Mr. Joshua Muravchik Advisor on Democracy to the US Secretary of State and Dr. Matyas Eorsi, member of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe and former Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of Hungary, met with Egyptian officials, members of parliament, and heads of organizations.  They were accompanied by three members of the organization”s staff – director of the regional program Sameer Jarrah,  Director of civil society and media programs Daniel Calingaert, and director of Middle East programs, Richard Eisendorf. 


“We were welcomed by all of the officials and civil society leaders that we met and had very productive discussions,” said Calingaert. 


Each year, Freedom House publishes an annual rating of “Freedom in the World,” assessing civil and political rights, applying the same criteria in a comparative survey of more than 160 countries and territories in the world. 


The delegation met with Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit, Speaker of the Parliament Ahmed Sorour, Chairman of the Parliamentary Foreign Affairs Committee Mustapha Al-Fikki, Minister of Social Affairs Abdullah Muslahi, head of the National Council on Human Rights Kamal Aboulmagd, among others. 


Egypt still sets the tone for the rest of the Middle East,” said Muravchik, adding “what happens here is of great importance to the rest of the region and the world.”


The purpose of the trip was to open a dialogue with senior officials and exchange views on the development of democracy in Egypt and the United States. 


In addition to conducting surveys of civil and political rights worldwide, Freedom House just released a book-length analysis entitled Today”s American: How Free?, which points out the good and the bad in American democracy.  While clearly a democracy, shortcomings were found in abuses of power arising from the war on terror, such as the mistreatment of prisoners in Guantanamo Bay.  Despite witnessing the first African American contender for the White House, the study also highlights the persistent inequality African Americans face in American society. 


Founded more than 65 years ago, Freedom House upholds the values enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and in its assessments applies the same standards to every country in the world.