Human chain for fundamental rights in Cairo Monday

Ahram Online, Monday 17 Sep 2012

Egyptian Social Democratic Party calls for human chain to highlight need for fairer representation and greater transparency on constitution-drafting body

The Egyptian Social Democratic Party has called for a human chain to highlight the need for greater transparency and fairer representation in the drafting of Egypt's new constitution.

The human chain, which will take place in Roxy Square in Heliopolis on Monday at 6:30pm, is to "highlight the fundamental rights that need to be protected in the upcoming constitution – including economic, social and citizenship rights – and to demand a clear commitment to citizenship, freedom of belief, and equality," Sherine Farouk, head of the ESDP's rights and freedoms committee, told Ahram Online.

The protest is part of a number of initiatives by civil society groups and political parties to highlight the importance of the constitution, which is currently being finalised.  

The 100-member constitution-drafting assembly has been criticised for its failure to represent all groups in society. In June, a number of political party representatives and independent MPs announced their withdrawal from the assembly.

The parties that withdrew from the assembly, including the ESDP and the Free Egyptians Party, stated they were doing so to allow greater representation for women, young people and Coptic-Christians, while registering their objection to "Islamist monopolisation" of the assembly.

Also taking part in the protest are members of the Third Current initiative—formed by several parties and political figures to "uphold the state's civil-democratic nature."

Participating parties will include the Free Egyptians Party, the Socialist Popular Alliance Party and the newly-formed Constitution Party.

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