Logo of the Egyptian Human Rights Forum – Courtesy of the forum's Facebook page
CAIRO – 25 March 2019: A Muslim Brotherhood affiliated entity named Egyptian Human Rights Forum prepares to hold hearings in the US Congress against planned constitutional amendments in Egypt, The Arab Movement for the Protection of Human Rights Organizations warned.
The Arab Movement, which is considered to be the first Arab mechanism to monitor the performance of human rights organizations, warned against the suspicious forum that emerged a few days ago, saying that many of its founders are linked to the international organization of the Muslim Brotherhood group, designated by a number of states, including Egypt, as terrorist.
The movement said that among the founders is American-Egyptian Mohamed Sultan, son of Muslim Brotherhood figure Salah Sultan, who Egypt released after he renounced his Egyptian citizenship. Mohamed Sultan was charged with calling for burning churches in Egypt after the dispersal of pro-Muslim Brotherhood Rabaa Sit-in in 2013.
Among the founders are director of the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies Bahey al-Din Hassan and Front Line Defenders Protection Coordinator for Middle East and North Africa Moataz el-Fegiery, who are both on the black list of organizations associated with the international organization of the Muslim Brotherhood supported by Qatar, according to the movement.
The Arab Movement warns of Qatar's continued attempts to use human rights institutions to serve the terrorist group.
The forum appeared a few days ago and said it is funded by the U.S. Department of State's Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI) program, which belongs to the U.S. Department of State, the movement said. The movement added that getting funded by a government contradicts with the independence principle for such organizations, according to the UN standards, and emphasizes the use of human rights to achieve political interests.
The US-funded forum announced holding a session in the Congress, with the support of Congressman Tom Malinowski, known for his strong ties to Qatar and his anti-Egyptian stance, to speak out against Egypt's constitutional amendments, discussed currently by the Egyptian House, the movement said, affirming that it is a matter that only concerns the Egyptian state.
The forum has thus violated a principle of the United Nations regulating human rights organizations, the movement stressed, referring to a United Nations General Assembly's resolution stipulating that a state does not have the right to intervene, in a direct or indirect way, and for any reason, in the internal or external affairs of any other country.
The UNGA also adopted resolution 2625 of October 24, 1970 on the "The Declaration on Principles of International Law concerning Friendly Relations and Co-operation among States".
According to this document, "the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations" embraces the right of all peoples "freely to determine, without external interference, their political status and to pursue their economic, social and cultural development." It stressed the duty of every State "to respect this right in accordance with the provisions of the Charter".