Cairo – Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi responded to criticism of his country in the human rights file, stressing that the reality in Egypt is not like that.
This came in an intervention in a session at the World Youth Forum – which is currently being held in Egypt and is organized annually – that implemented a simulation model of the International Human Rights Council at the United Nations, broadcast by Egyptian state television, and witnessed a “human rights criticism” from one of the participants.
In her speech on Tuesday, the representative of the Mediterranean Alliance (whose name was not mentioned by the moderator) said that “in Egypt, despite the limited development that appeared in the adoption of the human rights strategy (last September), we are concerned about (..) cases of arbitrary arrest and enforced disappearance. and the repression of civil society and abuses of prisoners,” calling for “rapid corrective action.”
The head of Egypt’s delegation in the simulation session requested comment in implementation of the right of reply, stressing that what the actress mentioned are “allegations that we reject altogether,” and that his country made “efforts to consolidate human rights (..) and launched a human rights strategy, which was not limited to civil and political rights only with its importance. “.
He added, “For example, Egypt supported the right to life, and through law enforcement institutions confronted a terrorist wave with exceptional measures to protect citizens, and with the success of efforts, it canceled the state of emergency (on October 25, 2021).”
In an intervention in the session carried by the Egyptian News Agency, Sisi said, “I felt that the speech was very harsh, but believe me the reality in Egypt is not, and therefore this is a form of intentional or unintentional insult to the Egyptian state.”
He pointed out the importance of not limiting human rights to freedom of expression and political practice, stressing that Egypt is keen on human rights in light of the beliefs and ideas it believes in, without being under any kind of pressure.
Al-Sisi stressed the need for an integrated and comprehensive approach to the situation in Egypt, and to take it into account when addressing the issue of human rights.
He demanded that issues such as providing job opportunities, the right to housing, health care, and appropriate education should be established as fundamental human rights, and that they represent challenges to the Egyptian state.
In a statement yesterday, Tuesday, the opposition Union of Egyptian National Forces (based in London) called on the youth of the world present at the forum to talk about “human rights violations”, asking, “Or is the simulation that will take place on the work of the Human Rights Council in Geneva is a formal representation?”
The Egyptian authorities usually affirm their respect for human rights, especially the right to express opinion, and reject local and international criticism in this regard, considering them to be “lies”.
This comes at a time when a member of the Egyptian National Council for Human Rights, Mohamed Anwar El-Sadat, stated that the judicial authorities and the Public Prosecution are currently examining the cases of detainees in pretrial detention, in preparation for the release of a number of them within a few days.
Sadat, who heads the Reform and Development Party and the International Dialogue Group concerned with the human rights file, added – in a tweet on Tuesday – that this comes within the framework of activating the national strategy for human rights.