Last Update 17:12
Activists quit Egypt's human rights council over 'disastrous' Constitutional Declaration
Wael Khalil and Ahmed Seif El-Islam quit National Council of Human Rights after President Morsi's power-grab constitutional decree 'threatens judicial independence' and draft constitution articles 'violate' human rights
Ahram Online, Monday 3 Dec 2012
Share/Bookmark
Views: 1232
Wael Khalil
Leftist activist Wael Khalil (Photo: Al-Ahram)

Leading rights’ advocates Wael Khalil and Ahmed Seif El-Islam resigned from the Egyptian National Council of Human Rights Monday in protest of President Mohamed Morsi’s "disastrous" Constitutional Declaration and the recently drafted Constitution.

Khalil, a leftist activist and Seif El-Islam, a human rights lawyer, became members of the council following last September's reshuffle by the president that saw 27 new members appointed.

They released a joint statement Monday stressing that their decision came after witnessing several human rights violations in the political arena.

"We are worried about recent developments ever since President Morsi’s disastrous constitutional decree," the statement read.

The duo pointed to the problems of the beleaguered Constituent Assembly, tasked with drafting Egypt’s new constitution, in particular the withdrawal of the Egyptian Church representatives.

They also accused Morsi of threatening the independence of the judiciary by making his decisions immune to judicial review.

"He stripped the judiciary of its independence when it comes to the decisions of the president which the constitutional decree now protects," the duo said in the statement.

They also accused of Morsi of using the Constituent Assembly as a "tool", which shows the "dictatorial orientation of his regime."

According to Khalil and Seif El-Islam, the president’s decree gave the assembly a two-month extension to finalise the national charter.

"This time was supposed to be used to open a serious debate to help reach a consensus over the new constitution and help establish a democratic nation," they said. "However, what we saw was an unjustified rush to finalise the document and present it to the president on 2 December."

The recently finalised draft national charter has many articles that violate human rights, the statement continued.

These include articles that allow civilians to be tried by military courts, a contentious practice illegal under International Law and the subject of many revolutionary campaigns.

The constitution also fails to guarantee judicial independence, they said.

Khalil and Seif El-Islam added that they joined the NCHR because they believed the move would help them fight human rights abuses, like torture and civilians tried by military judges.

"However, we now have fears that the Muslim Brotherhood will violate controversial rights like the right to freedom of expression, freedom of faith, freedom of thought as well as the rights of women and minorities," they said.





Short link:

 

Email
 
Name
 
Comment's Title
 
Comment
Ahram Online welcomes readers' comments on all issues covered by the site, along with any criticisms and/or corrections. Readers are asked to limit their feedback to a maximum of 4000 characters (roughly 200 words). All comments/criticisms will, however, be subject to the following code
  • We will not publish comments which contain rude or abusive language, libelous statements, slander and personal attacks against any person/s.
  • We will not publish comments which contain racist remarks or any kind of racial or religious incitement against any group of people, in Egypt or outside it.
  • We welcome criticism of our reports and articles but we will not publish personal attacks, slander or fabrications directed against our reporters and contributing writers.
  • We reserve the right to correct, when at all possible, obvious errors in spelling and grammar. However, due to time and staffing constraints such corrections will not be made across the board or on a regular basis.
1



Nora
04-12-2012 07:38am
0-
3+
Limited view of human rights
The concept of Human Rights that both Khalil and Seif have adapted is rather extreme. The constitution document is 'work in progress'. A No vote can bring it back to the drawing board. With a Yes vote, it can still be changed, with 20% of parliament votes. There is no need to quit, camp out, or get angry. Most Egyptians do not feel that the language document as disastrous. Education, Health services, infrastructures, corruptions, and unemployment are the real issues that we need to face. These issues affect Human rights in more tangible ways.
Email
 
Name
 
Comment's Title
 
Comment

© 2010 Ahram Online. Advertising