Egypt's parliament rejects EU parliament's 'interference' in domestic affairs
Ahram Online , Friday 11 Mar 2016
The European Union parliament's resolution on the death of an Italian student in Egypt condemns the country's overall human rights record

Egypt's parliament has rejected all interference in its work and the country's domestic affairs in response to a resolution from the European Union (EU) parliament on Thursday that criticised Egypt's human rights record.

The House of Representatives issued a statement on Friday after the EU parliament's resolution, which was overwhelmingly passed on Thursday, over the death of Giulio Regeni, a 28-year Italian student who was in Egypt. The European lawmakers also demanded the Egyptian chamber review specific laws that it deemed to be repressive.

"[The Parliament] does not accept interference in Egyptian domestic affairs…and urges it against employing a selective approach to dealing with human rights issues or the politicisation of some of the cases," the statement read.

"The legislative policy of the [Egyptian] parliament is that it is an internal affair and it is unacceptable for any entity to interfere with it," it added.

The assembly added that it appreciates long-time strategic ties with the European Union and its parliament, hailing its role in backing democracy and human rights.

However, it condemned what it described as the "politicisation" of some human rights issues and that they are being addressed with "double-standards" from parliaments that Egypt enjoys mutual ties and cooperation with.

The assembly said it is keen to provide "full, effective and transparent cooperation" with Italy over the killing of graduate student Giulio Regeni, whose body was found with signs of torture by a roadside on the outskirts of Cairo on 3 February after he disappeared in the capital on 25 January.

The assembly further urged against anticipating or influencing the results of the on going joint investigation by the Egyptians and Italians and said to wait for a judicial conclusion.

The parliament highlighted that the Egyptian government and the chamber respect and preserve human rights and vowed to hold the culprits behind Regeni's murder to account.

The resolution by the EU parliament said that Regeni's case "is not an isolated incident" but occurred within a pattern of "torture, death in custody and enforced disappearances across Egypt in recent years."

It called for the immediate and unconditional release of individuals it said have been unfairly detained and sentenced for merely exercising their right to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly.

The Egyptian parliament said in response that it does not accept interference in the country's judiciary and underlined that Egypt's judicial system is independent.