New Egyptian Constitutional Front seeks signatures for petition

Ahram Online , Monday 15 Oct 2012

Egyptian Constitutional Front launches campaign to present a petition to the assembly that recently drafted the new constitution, highly criticised for squashing minority rights and freedoms

The Egyptian Constitutional Front (ECF) will launch a campaign on Monday aiming to defend the rights and freedoms of Egyptians in the new constitution.

The ECF, launched two weeks ago, is a group of human rights activists and lawyers championing basic rights in Egypt's upcoming constitution. The group positions itself as a force against the dominance of the Islamist influence within the Constituent Assembly and its drafting process.  

The new campaign aims to "uphold the minimum list of rights and freedoms Egypt has been bound to in international treaties" said the head of the Cairo-based Egyptian Organisation for Human Rights and a member of the campaign, Hafez Abu-Saeda, to MENA, the state news service.

As part of the campaign they will gather signatures for a petition to submit the Constituent Assembly that pushes to instill certain rights and freedoms that are curbed in the initial draft of the constitution. The Constituent Assembly recently completed the draft of the constitution that will be up for plebiscite, but has yet to reveal it to the public in its entirety.

Alarms have already rung over some of the articles that were released to the public on 10 October, however. The articles have been largely criticised for curbing rights and freedoms, especially those of minorities.

Members of the EFC include writer, Saad Hagras; constitutional law expert Essam El-Eslamboly; Wafd Party  Spokesman Essam Shiha; Tagammu Party Secretary General Hussein Abdel-Razek and Abdel-Fattah El-Gibali economic analyst at Al-Ahram Centre for Strategic Studies.

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