Egypt expressed on Friday its commitment to combating terrorism without compromising human rights during Minister of Parliamentary Affairs Amr Marwan’s speech before the UN Human Rights Committee (HRC).
During the session, where Marwan presented Egypt’s half period report before the 37th round of HRC, the minister stressed his country’s commitment to its international obligations and boosting human rights. He added that Egypt is keen on countering terrorism without affecting human rights in two ways: combating extremist thought and countering militants.
A range of legislation has been issued to address all sorts of terrorism and its funding sources, as well as providing fair trials for suspects, in addition to establishing the National Council for Combating Terrorism and Extremism, said Marwan.
Marwan pointed out that as one of Egypt’s important efforts in boosting human rights, the Egyptian cabinet has approved a national strategy for boosting and preserving human rights in November 2017. He also expressed Egypt’s keenness in communicating with international bodies concerned with human rights and engaging civil society in the development process.
Meanwhile, Egypt’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs strongly denounced “the baseless allegations made against Egypt, and the false claims,” including in the High Commissioner for Human Rights’ annual report presented to the Human Rights Council in Geneva.
In a statement issued on Wednesday by Foreign Ministry spokesperson Ahmed Abou Zaid, the ministry said that the report stands in total contrast to the state of human rights in Egypt.
The statement expressed Egypt’s “astonishment” at the reference to the next presidential election in Egypt, saying that it is “based, as the High Commissioner acknowledged himself, on alleged information.”
According to the statement, Egypt denounced “unsubstantiated attempts to undermine the credibility and integrity of the election,” stressing that the state is not responsible for potential candidates “who have voluntarily withdrawn from the contest or could not meet the needed candidacy requirements.”
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs accused the high commissioner of relying on “soundless and politicised reports” and defending terror organisations.
“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs called upon the High Commissioner to cease the baseless attack against the state of Egypt, and to pursue instead a rather professional and objective approach,” the statement said.
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid bin Ra’ad Al-Hussein denounced, in an annual report presented to the Human Rights Council in Geneva, the “pervasive climate of intimidation” in Egypt ahead of the upcoming presidential election.
Al-Hussein said, “potential candidates have allegedly been pressured to withdraw, some through arrests.” He also added, “legislation prevents candidates and supporters from organising rallies. Independent media have been silenced, with over 400 media and non-governmental organisation websites completely blocked.”