With a case study on Egypt, the 2013 Foreign and Commonwealth Report on Human Rights and Democracy was released on Thursday 10 April by William Hague, British secretary of state for foreign and Commonwealth affairs.
“Human Rights and Democracy: The 2013 Foreign & Commonwealth Report" is a comprehensive annual assessment of efforts by the UK's Foreign and Commonwealth Office regarding human rights.
Launching the report before an audience of parliamentarians, NGOs, local ambassadors, civil society and the media, Hague stated in his keynote speech that “Human rights are part of the lifeblood of the Foreign Office because they are part of our national DNA in the United Kingdom – our character as a people – and because they are vital to our national interest."
Commenting on Egypt, the foreign secretary said “A draft new constitution in December offered greater protection for women’s rights and minorities. But in the last year we have also seen the use of excessive force against protesters, hundreds of death sentences handed down after inadequate trials and worrying restrictions on political participation. We are also deeply concerned by the harassment and detention of journalists."
The report also highlights the UK’s human rights concerns in 28 key countries including Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPTs), Saudi Arabia, Libya, Iraq, Iran, Syria, Yemen, Sudan and South Sudan.