The United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva adopted on Friday 373 recommendations - spanning five main areas of human rights - made by member states during the comprehensive periodic review session of the state of human rights in Egypt, which was held on Wednesday.
The adoption by the UNHRC of the recommendations concerning Egypt is considered an implicit recognition by the council that human rights in Egypt have witnessed a noticeable development.
This adoption comes in light of the fact that the official Egyptian delegation at the session
did not present any reservations or objections to the recommendations, while stating to the council that Egypt will study these recommendations diligently and that the government will issue its opinion no later than next February.
Following the presentation given by the Egyptian delegation at the council session on the state of human rights in the country and the government's efforts to improve it, 39 out of 136 member states criticised the record of the Egyptian government on human rights; while 97 expressed their appreciation of the government's efforts on human rights, and asked it to take more measures to improve human rights conditions.
Recommendations on rights
According to the final communiqué issued by the UNHRC on Egypt's report to the council, 14 countries called on Egypt to abolish the death penalty, and to amend all legislation on the death penalty to ensure their consistency with international human rights standards.
These countries also requested Egypt voluntarily pass a moratorium on the death penalty with the aim of abolishing it in a way consistent with its national legislation. They also stressed the need to suspend the provision of the death penalty, and also exempt those who were minors at the time of perpetrating the crime from the punishment.
According to an Egyptian statement, Cairo received one recommendation from Turkey on the death of former president Mohamed Morsi, describing it as "inconsistent with the statement issued by the special rapporteur on extrajudicial killing, which shows that the statement was unprofessional and groundless."
Some member countries have recommended removing constraints on the operations of NGOs by amending legislation, notably the protest law, while boosting mechanisms of dialogue and cooperation with civil society.
They also called on Egypt to bring to a halt the prosecution and intimidation of those cooperating with the UN.
Member states expressed their concern regarding the imposition of travel bans and asset freezing orders issued against some members of civil society, demanding the closure of the 2012 foreign funding case.
Other countries called on Egypt to respect the right of freedom of sexual orientation, urging the country to end discrimination based on sexual identity and orientation.
Ten countries requested Egypt to extend an open invitation to the UN special rapporteurs, especially those concerned with freedom of speech and expression.