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Cairo contests Washington's report, says human rights in Egypt monitored by national organizations

According to the US state department report, the greatest human rights concerns in Egypt "were excessive use of force by security forces, deficiencies in due process, and the suppression of civil liberties"

Ahram Online , Sunday 5 Mar 2017
Egyptian Fireign ministry
File photo: of Egyptian Foreign Ministry in Cairo (Photo:Al-Ahram)
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Views: 3429

Egypt says a recently-issued US State Department annual report on human rights around the world reflects Washington's viewpoint and is not based on binding legal obligations.

The report, released on Friday, said the most significant human rights concerns in Egypt "were excessive use of force by security forces, deficiencies in due process, and suppression of civil liberties."

In response, Egypt's foreign ministry said in a statement late Saturday that "the report is an American procedure stemming from internal concerns and [one that] reflects the US point of view."

It added in the statement that the report was not based on any "legal frameworks" Egypt is bound by or its membership to United Nations organisations.

"Human rights conditions in Egypt are committed through clear constitutional obligations and are being monitored by national Egyptian organisations: governmental and independent," the statement read.

The report, which documents human rights conditions in nearly 200 countries and territories, is mandated by congress and put together by staff in US embassies. This year's report was largely compiled under President Barack Obama's administration.

The report said Egypt's "excessive use of force included unlawful killings and torture."

It added that due process problems included "the excessive use of preventative custody and pretrial detention, the use of military courts to try civilians," also trials without evidence and arrests without warrants.

Civil liberties violations included societal and government restrictions on freedoms of expression and assembly, the report explained.

Other human rights violations mentioned were: "disappearances," harsh prison conditions, arbitrary arrests, a politically-motivated judiciary and restrictions on academic and religious freedom; impunity for security forces; harassment of some civil society organisations; official corruption; violence, harassment, and societal discrimination against women and girls; and child abuse. 

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