UN Human Rights Council - Creative Commons via Wikimedia Commons
CAIRO – 27 March 2017: Egyptian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shoukry told the U.N. Human Rights Council (UNHRC) that the government is ready to look into cases of forced disappearance on the condition that they are documented and not arbitrary numbers,
The statements came at the 34th regular session of the UNHRC; it was the first time an Egyptian foreign minister attended a session. Egypt presented to the council a draft resolution addressing the influence of terrorism on humans and citizens’ rights.
Shoukry further denied the government’s interference in any court cases handled by the judiciary system and denounced claims of torture made without documented information. “There are non-peaceful allegations aimed at defaming the State,” he said.
According to Ambassador and Egypt’s representative to the council Wael Nasr, Shoukry explained to U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid bin Ra'ad Al Hussein that foreigners are influenced by the opinions of some non-governmental organizations in Egypt and abroad.
“Shoukry was told that influential countries inside the council exercised strong pressure to bring to the table the human rights situation in Egypt,” Al-Shorouq reported, quoting Nasr.
“We are eagerly trying to change Egypt’s mental image, which was drawn by opposing media with huge financial support … And this calls for everyone’s cooperation,” Nasr said.
“We are in a state of war,” he added, stating that Egypt is coordinating with different sectors to reply to the criticism arising against Egypt.
Nasser also referred to the refugees’ situation, affirming that “Egypt is not trading or trying to profit from refugees but it is rather treating them like Egyptians and providing them with the same services as Egyptian citizens.”
Earlier this year, the Regional Refugee and Resilience Plan (3RP) praised the way Egypt has handled the Syrian refugee crisis. The 3RP report noted that Egypt continues to host Syrian refugees despite the absence of a land border with Syria and it applauded the Egyptian government’s policy for allowing the reunification of Syrian families.
As of September 2016 there were 117,350 Syrian asylum seekers - including 50,697 children - registered with the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) in Egypt.