Egypt proved its human rights record positive during UN review: Minister

Ahram Online, Sunday 9 Nov 2014

Egypt successfully defended its human rights record at UN Universal Periodic Review in Geneva last Wednesday, says Minister of Transitional Justice Ibrahim El-Henedy

Egypt's Minister of Transitional Justice Ibrahim El-Heneidy (Photo: Al-Ahram)

The Egyptian delegation at the UN Human Rights Council's Universal Periodic Review (UPR) managed to prove to the entire world Egypt's positive attitude in the area of human rights, Minister of Transitional Justice Ibrahim El-Heneidy said in a press conference Sunday.

Egypt defended its human rights records at the UN event in Geneva last Wednesday. The outcome report, released Friday, listed 300 recommendations from UN countries.

El-Heneidy, who headed the Egyptian delegation in Geneva, said he recounted to the prime minister the findings and experience of the UPR, and the point of view of each country that participated in the review.

He said around 122 countries participated in the review. Egypt garnered the endorsement of at least 105 countries, Al-Ahram Arabic website reported.

El-Heneidy said that Egypt's outcome report from the UPR session had 300 recommendations and comments, many of which, according to the minister, were "positive."

He said some of the recommendations target specific issues as housing and education. The Egyptian delegation will present the recommendations to relevant bodies to prepare a response.

El-Henediy said that Egypt had already had some idea which countries would support, criticise or be neutral towards Egypt.

He added that effort was put into persuading countries that were viewed as neutral towards Egypt to support the country, as well as lessening the criticism of opposing countries.

He added that all the countries that criticised Egypt had predisposed positions on Egypt, such as Turkey.

Relations between Egypt and Turkey deteriorated since the ouster of president Mohamed Morsi in July 2013. Turkey was a strong supporter of Morsi, and described his ouster as a "military coup."

On Qatar's input, the minister said Qatar's position was "positive" as its representative had endorsed Egypt in a number of issues and expressed his country's will to support Egypt.

Qatar was also a strong opponent of Morsi's ouster and has been accused by Egypt of supporting the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood.

In the review session, two controversial laws, one regulating NGOs and another putting restrictions on protests, took centre stage and received the most criticism.

Seven Egyptian rights groups backed out of the Universal Periodic Review meeting over fears of persecution.

Many Egyptian and international rights groups have accused Cairo of gross violations of human rights in recent months. They cite mass death penalty sentences meted out to supporters of ousted Islamist president Morsi in criminal cases as well as jailing of hundreds for breaking a protest law that criminalises unauthorised demonstrations as two examples of a deteriorating human rights situation in the country. 

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