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Monday, 14 October 2019

Egypt says Amnesty International's accusations are 'biased and politicized'

Ahram Online , Saturday 28 Sep 2019
 Diaa Rashwan
Head of Egypt's Syndicate of Journalists Diaa Rashwan (Photo: AL-Ahram)
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Egypt's Service Information service "SIS" criticised on Saturday Amnesty International "AI" for its biased coverage of the latest events in Egypt and allegations "that have no relation to human rights".

"The recent handling of some international human rights NGOs of Egyptian affairs can only be characterized by blatant contradictions, lack of objectivity and tendency to adopt allegations that are not based on any genuine human rights reference" Said SIS in its statement adding that that narrative or rather accusations of those NGOs are more of biased politicalized accusations," a statement read on Saturday.

Amnesty International posted a tweet on Friday saying that "Cairo, Egypt's capital, was on lockdown" and that the Egyptian security forces "set up checkpoints across the city & blocked off all roads leading to Tahrir square & shut 4 nearby metro stations, preventing people from exercising their right to freedom of movement and peaceful assembly."

SIS said that Egypt did not contradict the right to freedom movement and even if it did so it was justified.

"This accusation was based on the closure of several roads and 4 out of 53 metro stations in Greater Cairo , according to the chairman of the Egyptian Railway Authority the reason behind the closure of the metro station was conducting maintenance.

"However even if we assume that this measure was taken to protect national security , it does not contradict the right to freedom of movement guaranteed by international human rights instructions and those very instruments have given states the right to place restrictions on the right to protect their national security " SIS added.

The SIS said the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights' article 12 point 3 stated that these rights can be restricted only where necessary to protect national security, public order or health, and the rights and freedoms of others.

The SIS also hinted out that Amnesty International did not issue any similar remarks to France like Egypt when France closed down weekly for a whole year tens of Metro stations and bus lines in Paris because of the "Yellow vests" protests.

"The most recent of such incidents was the French authorities closure of 30 Metro stations, a number of TGV stations and dozens of bus routes on the 21 September due to demonstrations staged by the Yellow vests and other rallies calling for the reform of the pension system.

"This paradox compels any observer of Amensty International's stance towards Egypt to question real motives behind issuing such accusations that are not based on any convincing evidence of proof especially that AI did not direct the same accusation against France of Britain or any other country despite the similarity between the situation with their different details." the statement concluded.

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