Egyptian parliament urges western countries to refrain from politicizing human rights after UNHRC statement



Sat, 13 Mar 2021 - 09:25 GMT


Sat, 13 Mar 2021 - 09:25 GMT

FILE - The Egyptian House of Representatives - Reuters

FILE - The Egyptian House of Representatives - Reuters

CAIRO – 13 March 2021: The Egyptian House of Representatives urged the 31 member states of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), which prepared a statement criticizing the human rights situation in Egypt, to refrain from politicizing human rights to serve political purposes.

The Senate also thinks the statement “went so far away from transparency and objectivity”.

The member states on Friday backed a Finnish statement submitted to the Geneva Forum criticizing alleged human rights abuses in Egypt, including restricting freedom of speech. The US backed the statement.

The House, in a statement, urged the member states to look with objectivity at the reality in Egypt and to obtain information from the Egyptian state’s official platforms not from “malign” media platforms. The House also urged the countries to refrain from “double standards”.

“The human rights situation in these countries is often tainted by human rights violations when dealing with their citizens or citizens of other countries, especially discrimination and racism, which are among the worst violations against humans,” the statement read.

“This indicates clear double standards, lack of objectivity and tendentious selectivity aiming to achieve political goals and [succumb to] pressures, which have nothing to do with human rights,” the statement added.

The House urged the countries that participated in the statement to “not inaugurate themselves as guardians on Egypt”.

The House slammed the statement for the “politicized goals it expresses,” saying it relied on “unbalanced, destructive and tendentious approach that was based on accusations, lies and misleading allegations.”

Prisoners of conscience

The Senate, in its statement, affirmed that the Egyptian state has secured legal and technical freedom for media platforms in the country. Nobody was ever arrested or tried due to their opinions and no media platform was illegally closed.

“No lawyer or journalist or human rights activist are in prison unless that have committed a crime that justifies the measures taken against them, either through a fair trial or impartial investigations conducted by a judiciary that is fully independent from the executive authority,” the statement read.

The Senate said the state has always asked all parties that blame Egypt for human rights abuses to prove their allegations.

“The Egyptian state has not used the counter-terrorism laws except against those who have already committed the internationally-defined terrorism crimes,” the statement read.

The Senate said the friendly countries have the right to be interested in the domestic affairs of the Egyptian state due to Egypt’s significant political role at the regional and international levels and its efforts to preserve the security and stability in the region.

“However, this interest should not be used as a pretext for issuing allegations that are not based on facts or for building claims that contradict with the reality and turn to be interference in the internal affairs of an independent state,” the Senate’s statement added.

Egypt's President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi has defended the human rights situation in Egypt several times at local and international levels, including during his meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron last year in Paris.

Sisi said there are 55,000 licensed NGOs in Egypt and they are vital in the work of the government, wondering how many of them complained about inability to work.

“We are presented as if we don’t respect the people or as if we hate our societies. Or as if we are violent, ruthless, tyrannical leaders, and this is not OK. Not that you speak about it, but that you present us in that way,” Sisi said.

“It is not OK to present the Egyptian state, with all that it does for the Egyptian people and the stability of the region, as a tyranny. This is long gone… There are more than 65 million youths in Egypt who cannot be shackled and on whom you cannot impose a regime,” the president added.

He continued that the government is required to fight an extremist group that has existed in Egypt for 90 years and has established grassroots in the entire world during those decades.

He said he is required to protect the 100 million Egyptians from such groups, saying those asking questions such as these should think of what is happening in Libya, Iraq, Yemen, Lebanon, Syria, Afghanistan, and Pakistan.

“We have nothing to be afraid of and nothing that embarrasses us. We are a nation that fights to build a future for its people amid exceptionally cruel circumstances in a very turbulent region,” he concluded.

Additional reporting by Hanan Fayed



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