Lawyer Negad el-Borai says promoting human rights is ‘continuous process’; hails recent ‘positive steps’ in Egypt



Sun, 06 Nov 2022 - 06:57 GMT


Sun, 06 Nov 2022 - 06:57 GMT

Human Rights Lawyer Negad el-Borai - photo via Negad's Facebook page

Human Rights Lawyer Negad el-Borai - photo via Negad's Facebook page

CAIRO - 6 November 2022: Egypt Today interviewed Sunday the Human Rights Lawyer and the member of the National Dialogue Board of Trustees, Negad el-Borai, who told us about the latest developments for the preparation for the first national dialogue between political powers in Egypt, the status of human rights and COP27. 


In July, the National Dialogue Board of Trustees started their meetings with the aim to pave the way for a constructive dialogue between political powers in Egypt, to set the priorities of the Egyptian state. 


Lawyer Negad el-Borai, who is a member of the National Dialogue Board of Trustees, said that the meetings when held started with classifying the pillars of the dialogue into political, economic and social axes. He then explained that topics of discussion were selected under each axis, and then rapporteurs and assistants were elected for the committees and sub-committees in each axis. 


Over around 9 meetings, the agenda of the political axis was finalized, and a meeting is scheduled on Sunday to discuss the agendas of the economic and social axes. 


Borai said that the national dialogue will play an important role as it gives different political powers and movements in Egypt the opportunity to share thoughts, discuss and put solutions to problems in the country, where the recommendations will be then sent to the President, in order to be sent to the government or the parliament for consideration. 


When asked about political powers representation in the national dialogue, Borai ensured that all powers, trends and movements are fairly represented, including NGOs, adding that any entities that support terrorism were excluded. 


Human rights have always been a hot topic between the Egyptian state and the opposition. Given the latest moves by the state, including the release of opponents from prison per presidential pardon decisions, El-Borai sees progress in human rights file in Egypt. 


“Two years ago, the term “political prisoners” was not used, but now, the government is releasing many prisoners, which gives a positive indication,” he said. 


He went on saying that the country has now started to melt a mountain of distrust that has been standing for a long time between NGOs and the state, as the latter has taken the charge of proposing different human rights issues and putting them on the government’s agenda for real consideration. 


“Promoting sound human rights status in any country is a continuous process, and does not end by releasing all prisoners,” he said, adding that what Egypt has achieved so far is good, thanks to all those who are supporting these steps.


Egypt has so far released 1,040 pretrial prisoners and 12 convicts since the reactivation of the Presidential Pardon Committee on 26 April. Since April, the state has also worked on integrating the released detainees into society and providing them with job opportunities, in addition to release hundreds of debtors. 


Regarding Egypt’s host of the COP27, which kicked off Sunday in Sharm El-Sheikh, El-Borai said that the country is playing a very important role to deliver the voice of the developing countries, which are the most affected with the negative impacts of the climate change, though they are not producing as much emissions as the developed states. 


“Egypt is one of the most impacted countries with climate change, and COP27 summit shows how pivotal is Egypt’s role in the African continent as it seeks to settle climate equality, in addition to calling on developed states to bear responsibility not only for taking future actions, but also for compensating those who are harmed,” he added. 


Negad el-Borai also shared his hopes for the release of detainees during the convening of the COP27, as he say that “such step will give an indication that Egypt is seeking to improve the climate for a better living and better human rights.”


The two-week summit is hailed by different delegates and attendees as a summit of implementation, as hopes are pinned on the coming sessions to reach solutions to reduce climate change negative impacts and accelerate climate finance. 



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