Egypt: Human Rights Council should address deteriorating rights situation

02.06.2014

The UN Human Rights Council should address the deteriorating human rights situation in Egypt and ensure accountability for the mass killing of protesters and other gross human rights violations, the International Service for Human Rights said today.

(Geneva) - The UN Human Rights Council should address the deteriorating human rights situation in Egypt and ensure accountability for the mass killing of protesters and other gross human rights violations, the International Service for Human Rights said today. 

In an open letter written with ten other leading international and regional NGOs, ISHR called on Member States of the Human Rights Council to adopt a resolution on Egypt at its forthcoming session in June, which commences next week.

According to the letter - which was co-signed by Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, the East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Project and others - 'recent developments have shown that state institutions continue to blatantly violate many of Egypt’s international human rights obligations. States at the Human Rights Council should remind these institutions of their international and national obligations and demand that human rights protection and promotion are priorities on the agenda of the new president and government.'

In particular, the letter calls attention to the lack of proper investigation into, and accountability for, the death of over 1,000 protesters in August 2013; the lack of independence of the judiciary, which UN and African human rights experts have called an 'unacceptable mockery of justice'; and the harassment, intimidation and arbitrary detention of human rights defenders, lawyers and journalists. 

'The situation for human rights defenders in Egypt - the work of whom is crucial to democracy, development and the rule of law - continues to worsen,' said ISHR Director Phil Lynch.

'We are alarmed at recent raids on human rights NGOs, such as the Egyptian Centre for Economic and Social Rights, and remain deeply concerned at Egypt's assembly law (Law 107/2013), which severely restricts the rights of freedom of expression, assocation and assembly,' Mr Lynch said.

'The time has come for the Human Rights Council to adopt a resolution on Egypt condemning these violations and calling for accountability, failing which an international inquiry into gross violations should be mandated.'

The call for a resolution to be adopted in June 2014 comes after a joint statement by 27 States was delivered to the Human Rights Council in March. That statement expressed 'concern about the restrictions on the rights to peaceful assembly, expression and association, and about the disproportionate use of lethal force by security forces against demonstrators which resulted in large numbers of deaths and injuries' and called for proper investigations and accountability in this regard.

Contact: Phil Lynch, Director, International Service for Human Rights, on + 41 76 708 4738 or p.lynch@ishr.ch

Category:

Region
  • Middle East and North Africa
Topic
  • Freedom of expression, association and assembly
  • Human rights defenders
Mechanism
  • UN Human Rights Council
Country
  • Egypt