NGOs discuss human rights situation in Egypt

NGOs discuss human rights situation in Egypt

Police surrounds Rabaa (Photo by Ahmed AlMalky/DNE)

Egyptian Police surrounds Rabaa on 14 August 2013 (File Photo/DNE)

Hafez Abu Seada, Chairman of the Egyptian Organization for Human Rights (EOHR) discussed various reforms needed in Egypt’s security sector.

The reforms Abu Seada talked about included: “monitoring the work of the security agencies,” “reestablishing effective security” and holding dialogue between all factions of society and the police to create “a tranquil and peaceful atmosphere,” according to a statement released by EOHR on Thursday.

Abu Seada also mentioned articles in international conventions on human rights, one of which stated that “law enforcement officials, during their duties, shall respect and protect human dignity, and maintain human rights of each and every citizen.”

Abu Seada made his statements on the police and human rights after 30 June during a lecture inside the Police Academy.

Earlier this week, two other NGOs brought the human rights situation in Egypt to the attention of the United Nations Human Rights Council. The Association for Freedom of Thought and Expression (AFTE) and the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies (CIHRS) presented the council in Geneva with a joint statement on Tuesday condemning the escalating violence in the country.

The UNHRC is holding its 24th session, which runs from 9 to 27 September.

In their joint statement, the NGOs said that the exceptional measures being taken under the state of emergency, including the right to due process, are “unacceptable.” They called on authorities to refrain from taking exceptional measures in the name of “protecting public security and combating terrorism.”

They added that instead, authorities should engage in peaceful and political ways to contain violence. Abu Seada, in his lecture, said that there is a need for dialogue between NGOs and the police for the sake of achieving justice for victims.

The NGOs also condemned the incitement of violence by Muslim Brotherhood leaders, adding that there is reason to believe it led to deadly attacks on police, government buildings and Coptic Christians, their property and churches.

“The Egyptian state has failed [in] its responsibility to take the necessary measures to put an end to this violence, to conduct independent investigations into all violations, and to hold those responsible to account,” the statement read.

CIHRS also denounced the “disproportionate and unwarranted lethal force used recently by government forces” to disperse two sit-ins by supporters of ousted President Mohamed Morsi last month, and expressed its concerns for ”targeting the right to freedom of expression” as well as the targeting of media professionals.

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