CAIRO- 4 July 2023: Ten years have passed since Egypt carried out its June 30th Revolution in 2013 opening a new path for the real construction and development process at all levels, including human rights.
Since then, real and confident steps were accomplished by the Egyptian government to ensure that all Egyptian citizen's rights are well respected in all levels and in various sectors, including their rights in health, education, press, expression and religion.
Most notably, Egypt has lunched The National Dialogue, as per President Abdel Fattah al Sisi call in April 2020, which opened several 'closed doors' in regard to political discussions and freedoms.
Sisi said that Egypt is a 'home' for everyone regardless our political differences and that everyone should be having discussions regarding these differences to come out with results that will benefit all of the Egyptians.
Long track working on Human Rights
Egypt has a great track record in promoting and protecting human rights, through its efforts in developing international law and international human rights treaties, by participating in the drafting of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, along with signing other 8 international human rights conventions.
Egypt also was a member of the Human Rights Council for several times, in addition to electing many of the Egyptian experts to membership in human rights treaty bodies.
Shortly after the June 30th revolution, Egypt started working on developing the Human rights states legislatively by approving the 2014 constitution, which was considered a turning point in human rights in Egypt.
The constitution affirmed that the political system is based on respect for human rights and the consolidation of the values of citizenship, justice and equality.
The constitution took a more advanced approach in this regard for ensuring the fulfillment of Egypt's international obligations towards human rights.
The constitution also guaranteed women, children, and people with disabilities an unprecedented number of rights that did not exist previously.
In a report issued by the Egyptian Center for Strategic Studies [ECSS], it was stated that Egypt possesses an institutional structure capable of promoting and protecting human rights, most notably the establishment of the Permanent Supreme Committee for Human Rights at the end of 2018.
Among the principles that Egypt has worked to establish during the past ten years: “supporting gender equality, the right to personal freedom, paying attention to the rights of prisoners, freedom of expression and opinion, freedom of media and press, freedom of religion and belief, right to health, the right to education, the right to social security, of which the ‘Takaful and Karama’ Program, ‘Decent Life’ Initiative, and the ‘National Alliance for Civil Development Action’ were launched.
The government also highlighted the Egyptians cultural rights, along with paying attention to the rights of persons with disabilities.
Ending state of emergency
One of the most important steps that was taken by the Egyptian government during the past ten years was also terminating of the state of emergency.
On October 25, 2021, President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi announced the abolition of the state of emergency in all parts of Egypt for the first time in many years, which led to the abolition of the broad powers of the President and the government that were allowing exceptional measures to be taken according to it, including: placing restrictions on the freedom of people to meet, move, and pass in n certain places or times, referring the accused to state security courts, curfews in some areas, monitoring messages of any kind, monitoring newspapers, pamphlets, publications, editors, drawings, and all means of expression, propaganda, and advertising before they are published, seizing, confiscating, and closing their printing places, in addition to enabling the army to impose Security and giving it the status of judicial seizure of civilians, and issuing reports and violations.
All these exceptional measures have been completely canceled.
Two of the Most important decisions that have been during the past ten years and completely changed the political scene in Egypt, were: re-activating the Presidential Pardon Committee and the launching the National Dialogue.
Upon President Sisi decisions, more than 1,500 prisoners have been released until May 2023, according to the statistics of the Presidential Pardons Committee.
The Presidential Pardon Committee, was originally formed in 2016 and then reactivated by President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi in April 2022, aiming to release young prisoners of conscience and reintegrate them into society.
Committee Member Tarek El-Khouli previously explained to Egypt Today the criteria that the recently revived committee’s work is based on to prepare pardon lists.
“Our work while preparing the pardon lists and choosing names conform to two criteria; first, they must not be part of a terrorist group and second, they must not have engaged in violence and bloodshed crimes,” Khouli said.
He added that all those who do meet these criteria have the chance of being included in the pardon lists.
Khouli affirmed that the committee receives pardon requests via many avenues, including through the National Council for Human Rights (NCHR) and the human rights committees of the House of Representatives and Senate.
In addition, the committee receives pardon requests through the National Youth Conference website, Khouli added.