Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi speaks during the ceremony to launch the National Strategy for Human Rights - Presidency
CAIRO - 11 September 2021: At the launch of Egypt’s 1st national human rights strategy on Saturday, President Abdel Fattah El Sisi announced that 2022 is a year of civil society.
“The launch of the first national strategy for human rights is a luminous point in Egypt’s history. Egypt continues exerting efforts to ensure equality in rights and duties among the people,” said President Sisi, highlighting how Egypt adopted many initiatives of Takaful and Karma (solidarity and dignity) and Haya Karima (Decent Life) to improve the lives of citizens.
“Egypt is one of the first countries that drafted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR),” he added, affirming that Egypt’s vision for human rights is based on a number of principles.
President Sisi also added that Egypt’s Constitution achieved a paradigm shift by consolidating the principles of citizenship and equality, saying “Egypt has a national structure that supports and promotes human rights” as several laws concerning the political practice, elections, and civil work have been passed.
He confirmed that the participation of the civil society in raising awareness of human rights is indispensable, saying “awareness is one of the most important elements for human rights.”
Egypt pays special attention to promoting the right to participate in political and public life, said President Sisi, who affirmed that the country has taken care of young people to develop their capabilities and empower them.
‘Death certificate of the state’
“The 2011 revolution was a death certificate for the country,” said President Sisi during his comments on a panel titled ‘Human Rights…The present and the Future” at the ceremony of launching the strategy.
He said that Egypt has suffered many cultural, religious, cultural, media and economic challenges and there are many issues that are rooted in society. “We must work on the basis of confidence in the state so that it can overcome challenges,” talking about the consequences that Egypt has witnessed after the 2011 revolution which toppled late President Hosni Mubarak’s 30-year tenure.
Talking about post-revolutions that took place in other neighboring countries, President Sisi said that the experience of demolishing countries had disastrous results and caused the displacement of thousands of citizens.
“There is a camp in a country where children were taken to marry and bring terrorists inside the societies,” he continued.
The president added that some groups have been negatively affected minds of Egyptians for 90 years. “There are groups in the state still gnawing doubts and forming a culture of skepticism,” he said.
Regarding the Egyptian laws that aim to guarantee the freedoms in Egypt, President Sisi said that although the state passed the anti-FGM and early marriage laws, there are still some families practice such acts. “The success of such laws will take time,” he said.
President Sisi added that the Personal Status Law should satisfy all people, achieve balance and guarantee rights. “The Personal Status Law allows me document divorces. I do not speak against anyone,” he said.
“Whoever wants to impose his own way is a dictatorial one. You cannot impose it on me. Give us a chance and help ourselves,” he said.
“The law that is not enforced has no value and any measure that contradict the culture of society is a waste,” said Sisi to Journalist Ibrahim Issa who talked about imposing a law that limits the number of children.
As for the freedom of beliefs, President Sisi said that Egypt's Church Construction Law is one of the state’s progress examples in terms of human rights. “Why do people get angry about building churches. I say this from a religious perspective. Our Lord orders us to respect all people and rights, including women,” he said.
“A country like Egypt wants at least $1 trillion dollars for the public spending annually. If we have this figure, they [the people] would hold me and the government accountable,” he said.
“We provide a discriminative service when it comes to health care as some people in Assuit (Upper Egypt) couldn’t find medical treatment without our interference. This is unacceptable as everyone has the right to medical care,” he added.
As for women rights, President Sisi that he is not prejudice in favor of women. “I’m trying to give them back their rights, which have been violated for a long time,” the President said.