EU representative for human rights hails Egypt’s rights record

Ahram Online , Thursday 2 Mar 2023

European Union (EU) Special Representative for Human Rights Eamon Gilmore congratulated Egypt on its achievements in the field of human rights, especially the promotion of women's rights and religious freedoms, in a meeting with President of the National Council for Human Rights (NCHR) Moushira Khattab on Wednesday.

EU, Egypt
A group photo of the Egyptian National Council for Human Rights' (NCHR) delegation headed by its president Moushira Khattab following their meeting with European Union (EU) Special Representative for Human Rights Eamon Gilmore in Geneva on Wednesday. (Photo courtesy of the NCHR)


The meeting was held in Geneva on the sidelines of the 137th session of the UN Human Rights Committee (HRC) in which Egypt’s fifth periodical report on human rights was reviewed along with five other countries – Panama, Peru, Sri Lanka, Turkmenistan, and Zambia – in line with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR).

Gilmore also stressed the interest of the EU in economic, social and cultural rights, along with its interest in civil and political rights, a statement by the NCHR said.

He also welcomed the NHCR’s preparation of a training guide for visitors of prisons and rehabilitation centres that is consistent with the standards of human rights and that ensures that guests in detention centres are treated in a way that guarantees their basic rights , the statement said.

The EU representative also welcomed the re-activation of the Presidential Pardon Committee that focuses on the release of detainees as well as re-integrating and rehabilitating them back into society.

On her side, ambassador Khattab praised the cooperation with the EU and confirmed that the NCHR intends to build on the discussions in order to convert the country’s National Strategy for Human Rights into a reality with tangible results through practical steps and proper monitoring of Egypt’s national efforts.

In her presentation on Wednesday of the council’s assessment of the HRC’s report on the state of political and civil rights in Egypt from November 2020 to September 2022, Khattab said that the council’s frequent visits to the correctional and rehabilitation centres are means to exercise oversight on prisoners’ conditions.

Khattab also noted that the NCHR made 10 visits to the correctional centres over the past 10 months, describing this rate of visits as unprecedented in the council’s history.

The council also issued a training guide for visits to detention centres, which was based on the Nelson Mandela Rules, she added.

A high-level delegation, which was headed by Khattab, attended Wednesday’s meeting with the EU official, including Vice President of the NCHR Mahmoud Karem and council members Wafa Benyamin, Nihad Abu Al-Qomsan, Samira Lokam, and Abdel-Gawad Ahmed.

Addressing a meeting of the UN HRC concerned with monitoring compliance of state parties with the ICCPR on Wednesday, Egyptian Minister of Justice Omar Marwan emphasised the state's commitment to guarantee the rights of all citizens and ensure equal opportunity by building efficient institutions and effective justice delivery mechanism.

Marwan said that Egypt had taken unprecedented steps to advance human rights over the past few years, thanks to a determined political will, which clearly demonstrates the amount of attention the state gives to its citizens and their rights.

On Tuesday, Marwan said Egypt has made major human rights achievements in line with the ICCPR, noting that Cairo has been working on building a fully integrated system for promoting human rights in the past eight years.


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