Egypt's cabinet orders restructuring of state-run human rights body

Ahram Online, Sunday 21 Jul 2013

Cabinet issues bill ordering a new board of trustees be appointed to state-run National Council for Human Rights

Egypt's newly-formed cabinet ordered on Sunday that new members be appointed to the board of the National Council for Human Rights (NCHR).

The cabinet issued a draft bill to restructure the state body - which includes as board members a number of supporters of ousted president Mohamed Morsi - against the backdrop of the resignation of its head as well as the unavailability of several of its members, Ahram Arabic news website reported.

The decision went down well with the council's employees who called in a Sunday statement for a body 'free of political or partisan affiliations,' according to state news agency MENA.

The NCHR's board of trustees received on Sunday a six-member delegation from a female march backing deposed president Mohamed Morsi, MENA reported. The delegates submitted a complaint about political developments since 30 June, when nationwide protests culminated in the removal of the Islamist leader by the military.

The government, instated last week as part of a military-backed roadmap for political transition, also passed two bills on freedom of expression Sunday that will be put to Egypt's interim president for approval.

These include a draft law ending imprisonment verdicts for charges of 'insulting the president' and restricting the penalty to monetary fines. A third bill introduces amendments to the law regulating journalism and the makeup of Egypt's Supreme Press Council.  

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