Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Cairo, Feb. 23, 2001. Aladin Abdel Naby/Reuters
CAIRO - 9 October 2019: Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Ehab Galal said that Egypt is among the first states that criminalized torture in 1883, and that the Egyptian law bans all sorts of torture committed to either extract confessions, punish wrongdoers, compel individuals to do something, or practice discrimination.
Galal made the statements on Tuesday, Oct. 8 in his speech in a conference on combating torture in Arab countries. The deputy minister explained that torture does not mean just inflicting physical or emotional pain on others but also includes mistreatment and cruel punishment. Those crimes are penalized by articles 126. 129, and 375 of the penal code. Also, article 15 states that torture cases against fugitives are never dropped after the duration of the prison sentences is over.
Galal added that the current constitution promulgated in 2014 provides the National Council for Human Rights with the necessary powers to fulfill its duties. The deputy minister also affirmed that the state closely follows the council’s reports and data, which are taken into consideration, even if there are some reservations.
For the measures taken to achieve that, Galal says that one of the top achievements on the human front is the promulgation of the NGO’s law. He stated that Egypt will submit to UNCHR on November 13 a comprehensive report reviewing human rights status, saying that will be an opportunity to discuss with international partners accomplishments and goals in that realm.
Galal added that improvement of human rights in any country is a continuous process that never reaches perfection. All countries, with no exception, have certain challenges that are periodically reviewed and discussed by committees in charge of reviewing the fulfillment of international agreements on human rights, the official said. He elaborated that what distinguishes a country from another is its eagerness and willpower to build upon the positive aspects and eliminate negative ones.