The Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies (CIHRS) held on Monday, 8 November 2010, a meeting with a delegation of 12 university students and Yusef Rashid, Second Secretary at the Embassy of Canada in Egypt. The meeting was for the delegation to learn more about CIHRS and the role it plays in promoting the values of human rights internationally, regionally, and locally using international and regional human rights mechanisms at the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) and the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights (ACHPR). The delegation was also interested in learning how CIHRS has been dealing with the challenges of promoting human rights in Egypt.
The Discussion with the students was managed by Sally Sami, CIHRS Assistant Director, and Sohair Riad, Research Assistant in the International Advocacy Program. The discussion which lasted around 90 minutes tackled a number of issues related to the situation of human rights defenders in Egypt and the Arab World; pressures and legal restriction on human right NGOs and civil society organizations in Egypt; the status of minorities, issues of freedom of religion and the rise of sectarian tensions; restrictions on freedom of expression; the right to peaceful assembly and political participation; and the impact of the continuous application of the state of emergency.
The discussion also included Egypt’s Universal Periodical Review (UPR) and the role of the Forum of Independent Human Rights NGOs during the UPR last February at the HRC in Geneva.