Eleven rights organizations: free parliamentary and presidential elections are impossible when state institutions are not impartial

In International Advocacy Program by


The Forum of Independent Human Rights Organizations strongly condemns the repression, harassment, and intimidation of political activists who have demanded guarantees of transparency and integrity in the coming parliamentary and presidential elections and called for constitutional amendments that provide for competitive and free presidential elections.

The Forum notes the assault on the peaceful “car march” in Alexandria, as well as the repeated arrest, detention, humiliation, and physical and verbal attacks of participants in various peaceful protests advocating political and democratic reform. In the same context, we note that the Public Prosecutor Office’s has launched speedy investigations into complaints filed against public figures for simply criticizing the government, the National Democratic Party, or one of its potential presidential candidates, even as several decades’ worth of complaints of torture still sit in the prosecutor’s office uninvestigated.

The undersigned organizations warn of the consequences of restricting the peaceful expression of ideas and denying political opponents’ demands, while supporters of the ruling NDP and one of its presidential candidates are permitted to freely organize election campaigns. The Forum stresses that this double standard, in tandem with the use of the emergency law and an arsenal of other laws that restrict the freedoms of political opposition groups, casts a long shadow over the future of the political process in Egypt at this crucial juncture.

Accordingly, the Forum urges state agencies to abandon the policy and practice of intimidating and harassing political activists under the protection of emergency law. We demand that state institutions respect safeguards aimed at protecting the right to freedom of expression, assembly, and association, and demonstrate a full commitment to the principle of neutrality toward all electoral candidates.

The Forum reminds officials with all state agencies that they do not owe their allegiance to specific individuals or one particular party, but are rather obligated by the law to maintain impartiality during all stages of the electoral process. A breach of this neutrality threatens to undermine the political and legal legitimacy of elections and their results.

– Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies
– Arabic Network for Human Rights Information
– Hisham Mubarak Law Center
– Association for Human Rights Legal Aid
– Land Center for Human Rights
– Alnadim Center for Treatment and Psychological Rehabilitation for Victims of Violence
– Egyptian Center for Economic and Social Rights
– Association for Freedom of Thought and Expression
– Andalus Institute for Tolerance and Anti-Violence Studies
– The Human Rights Center for the Assistance of Prisoners
– Arab Penal Reform Organization

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