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Friday, 25 June 2021

Egypt's House of Representatives lambasts European Parliament's resolution on human rights

The resolution is politicised and unbalanced, said Egypt's parliament, urging the avoidance of 'double standards'

Gamal Essam El-Din , Saturday 19 Dec 2020
A file photo of the Egyptian parliament (Photo: Reuters)

Egypt's House of Representatives rebuked on Friday the European Parliament's resolution on the status of human rights in Egypt, saying it reflected "politicised objectives and an unbalanced policy."

"The resolution is also unacceptable because it includes many misguided statements about the situation of human rights in Egypt, not to mention that it is not in harmony with the Egyptian-European partnership," said the statement, adding that "for these reasons, the Egyptian parliament completely rejects the European Parliament's resolution."

The Egyptian parliament's statement urged the European Parliament to stop politicising the issues of human rights "for political and electoral reasons." 

It urged the adoption of "a more objective view of the reality in Egypt and to stay away from double standards," said the statement.

The Egyptian parliament said it was particularly surprised by the European Parliament's comment on the procedures followed by the Egyptian judicial system.

"This shows some kind of disrespect of the principle of separation of powers which forms the basis of the rule of law and is considered an interference into the internal affairs of the judicial authority," said the statement.

Egypt's House said it was better for the European Parliament to take an objective look into Egypt's efforts to preserve stability and security at home and abroad, particularly in the areas of combating terrorism and fighting illegal migration.

"The European Parliament also ignores the magnanimous efforts to improve the living conditions of Egyptians and the boost in development rates, even amid the coronavirus crisis," read the statement.

On Thursday and Friday, the European Parliament adopted two resolutions taking stock of the human rights situations in China, Iran and Egypt.

The European Parliament said it deplores, once again and in the strongest possible terms, what it considered to be "the continued and intensifying crackdown" on fundamental rights and, among others, the "persecution" of human rights defenders, lawyers and civil society in Egypt.

The European Parliament cited the recent arrests of senior Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR) activists Gasser Abdel-Razek, Karim Ennarah and Mohamed Basheer – who represent an independent human rights organisation – in what it said was in retaliation for their recent meeting with European diplomats in Cairo.

The European Parliament, however, welcomed the provisional release of the three activists, but urged the Egyptian authorities to drop all charges against them, end what it described as "all forms of harassment and intimidation" against them and EIPR founder and acting director Hossam Bahgat.

"Any restrictive measures, including travel bans and asset freezes, taken against them and the EIPR should be revoked," the European Parliament said.

The European Parliament's resolution further commented on the detention of another EIPR activist Patrick George Zaki and the murder in 2016 of Giulio Regeni, an Italian researcher, in Cairo.

The European Parliament's resolution claimed that the Egyptian authorities persistently refused to provide Italian authorities with all the documents and information needed to enable a swift, transparent and impartial investigation.

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