CAIRO/NEW YORK, October 29, 2011—The Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies (CIHRS), in collaboration with the International Center for Transitional Justice (ICTJ), is holding a regional Forum titled “Transitional Justice in Egypt and the Arab World: Challenges and Opportunities” from October 30-31, 2011. The Forum will be attended by a host of international experts and specialists in the area of transitional justice, in addition to human rights defenders, victims, and judges from various countries.
The Forum will examine obstacles confronting the application of transitional justice in the countries that recently witnessed revolutions which toppled the heads of former regimes. Speakers and participants will discuss options for overcoming these obstacles by drawing on and analyzing the experiences of different countries that underwent periods of transition similar to the current situation in Tunisia, Egypt, and Libya, and to what may be expected in other Arab countries as well.
The Forum will explore methods for addressing past violations of human rights. A special focus will be given to mechanisms to examine and reform state institutions, particularly in regards to security and judicial reform and measures for offering reparations. Testimonies from families of victims of the Egyptian and Tunisian revolutions will also be presented.
“This Forum should provide a unique space for exchange,” said Habib Nassar, director of the Middle East and North Africa Program at ICTJ. “Participants will benefit from lessons learned in a variety of countries across Africa, Asia, and Latin America. They will also have the opportunity to learn from current developments in the Middle East and North Africa.”
Further discussion will examine prosecuting key figures of former regimes in domestic and international courts with a focus on the situations of both Libya and Sudan.
“The Forum will also assess the transitional period in both Egypt and Tunisia, the fate of the transitional justice process and available means to prosecute both regimes for crimes they have allegedly committed,” added Ziad Abdel Taway, deputy director at CIHRS.
Speaking at the commencement of the Forum are Judge Hossam Al-Gharyani, president of the Egyptian Supreme Judicial Council; Kamel Jendoubi, president of the Independent Supreme Authority for Elections of the Constituent Council in Tunisia; Lucie Viersma, speaking on behalf of the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights; Bahey eldin Hassan, director of CIHRS; and David Tolbert, president of ICTJ.
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