The Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies (CIHRS) presented an oral intervention to the UN Human Rights Council (the Council) today, 7 June 2013, in which it discussed the state of human rights in Egypt under President Morsi. This intervention came as part of CIHRS’ activities at the 23rd session of the Council, which is currently convened in Geneva and which will continue until 14 June.
In this intervention, CIHRS covered the most prominent violations to human rights which have continued since Mohamed Morsi became president, including extrajudicial killings, arbitrary arrests, severe violations against women, the targeting of media professionals because of their work in covering events, violence against minorities, and the resumption of military trials of civilians. CIHRS pointed out that the authorities have failed to take significant steps to put a stop to such violations and condemned the refusal of the government to open serious investigations into abuses and to hold those responsible to account. CIHRS further denounced the authorities’ refusal to publish the report of the independent fact-finding committee, which was established to investigate a number of violations which have occurred since the revolution.
CIHRS condemned the sentences issued on 4 June 2013 against employees of Egyptian and international civil society organizations in what became known in Egypt as the “foreign funding case.” CIHRS expressed its concern and astonishment that individuals advocating for democracy and human rights have been condemned while those charged with killing protestors have gone free, asserting that this ruling reaffirms the authoritarian nature of the current authorities and their insistence on violating the right to freedom of association in Egypt. CIHRS pointed out that this ruling comes in the wake of a draft law on associations recently presented by the president which blatantly contradicts international standards on the right to freedom of association, as it provides for security surveillance of NGO activities and imposes severe restrictions on funding for civil society.
Finally, CIHRS called upon the Council to urge the Egyptian government to uphold international standards on the right to freedom of association and to withdraw the bill on associations currently under discussion, as it severely threatens the work of independent Egyptian civil society. CIHRS further called for the Egyptian government to establish adequate mechanisms for accountability in order to end the legacy of impunity in Egypt.
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