Egypt has taken 'serious' steps in human rights, Moushira Khattab tells European MP

Ahram Online , Sunday 18 Sep 2022

Egypt has taken “serious” steps in its human rights file, National Council of Human Rights (NCHR) President Moushira Khattab told Antonio López, a member of the EU’s parliament, during a meeting in Cairo on Saturday.

Moushira Khattab


Khattab also stressed that "there are challenges being dealt with transparently," while assuring him that "Egypt is at crossroads and is witnessing a historic opportunity," the NCHR said in a statement issued following the meeting.

President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi declared 2022 as the Year of Civil Society.

He launched in September 2021 the first homegrown National Strategy for Human Rights 2021-2026, a scheme aimed at addressing political, economic, social and cultural rights for all groups, including marginalised ones. Then, in October he revoked the national state of emergency that had been in place since 2017.

The steps were followed by the reactivation of the Presidential Pardon Committee in April and the start of preparations for the National Political Dialogue – called for by the president – in May.

El-Sisi has since pardoned a number of high-profile political activists who had received final sentences such as Hossam MonesYahia Abdel-HadyHisham Fouad and others.

Also since May, Egypt's Public Prosecution has ordered the release of hundreds of pretrial detainees as the government and various political forces prepare for an extensive National Political Dialogue that will discuss pressing political, economic and social issues.

Saturday's meeting dealt with "the positive developments" of the human rights process in Egypt during the past two years, including the launch of the National Strategy for Human Rights and the launch of the national dialogue.

The NCHR, Khattab added, has taken important steps towards implementing the country's National Human Rights Strategy, the statement added.

The Spanish MP told the Egyptian side that Europe is now facing developments that put it "at a critical crossroads that requires common issues to be re-sorted out," according to the statement.

Lopez said the recent developments of the Russian-Ukrainian war and the ensuing food and energy crises require working on highlighting commonalities between the Egyptian and European sides to surmount the new challenges.

The statement added that both the Egyptian and European sides agreed on strengthening communication between the NCHR, the Egyptian House of Representatives and the European Parliament, especially at the youth level.

The meeting was also attended by Tarek Radwan, head of Human Rights Committee at the Egyptian House of Representatives; and Mohamed Abdel-Aziz, deputy chairperson of the same committee and member at the presidential pardon committee.

Lopez, who is representing the Spanish centre-right People’s Party, is on his first official visit to Egypt.

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