Egypt has failed to meet January 25 Revolution demands: Amnesty

Ahram Online, Wednesday 4 Dec 2013

Key social and economic problems that became factors leading to the 25 January 2011 uprising remain unaddressed, according to UN report cited by rights group Amnesty International

 Tahrir Square
File photo: Egyptian anti-government demonstrators gather in Tahrir Square, the center of anti-government demonstrations, in Cairo, Egypt, Sunday, Feb. 6, 2011. (Photo: AP)

Amnesty International has said in a statement that the conclusions of a recent UN report on Egypt reveal that authorities still didn’t meet the demands of the January 25 Revolution that toppled longtime autocrat Hosni Mubarak.

On Tuesday, the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights published its review of how Egypt was upholding its obligations under the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR).

Amnesty said the findings of the committee showed that Egypt's authorities have failed to resolve a series of issues that led to the uprising against the former regime in 2011.

Social inequalities, deteriorating living conditions, corruption and police brutality were among the main reasons that led to the ouster of Mubarak. 

”'Bread, freedom and social justice' was a key slogan of the 2011 uprising. The committee’s findings are a damning indictment of how Egypt’s authorities have failed to deliver, almost three years after these issues led to the '25 January Revolution,'” Amnesty International said.

The watchdog said the findings of the UN review should be “a wake-up call for the authorities,” calling on them to “take prompt action to implement the committee’s recommendations, in consultation with civil society.”

In its review, the UN committee discussed a wide range of issues related to Egypt socio-economic conditions, from women’s rights to youth unemployment and rampant corruption.

It said it was concerned by a reduction in the proportion of budgetary resources allocated for health, education and housing that has impacted disadvantaged and marginalised individuals and groups. The committee also underlined the inadequate implementation of measures to combat corruption.

The committee criticised the set minimum wage for not guaranteeing a decent standard of living and concerning only workers in the public sector. The committee also said the rate of unemployment was very high and continued to rise, particularly among women and youth.

The committee also found that Egypt failed to end “serious and widespread” discrimination against women and girls, and that the government had not addressed continuing violence against women and girls, including repeated sexual attacks on women protesters.

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