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Sunday, 14 March 2021

UNHRC slams Egypt’s human rights record in joint statement by 31 countries

Egypt condemns “reckless” UN statement after Western nations criticize Egypt’s human rights record: The US and 30 other countries called on Egypt to end human rights violations against political opponents in a joint statement read out at the United Nations Human Rights Council on Friday (watch, runtime 2:36). The statement — signed mostly by European countries, as well as the United States, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada — expressed concern about freedom of expression and assembly in Egypt, and specifically mentioned the arrest of three staff members of the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights last year. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken had expressed concern over Egypt’s human rights record in a phone call with Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry last month, as observers say the US may seek to recalibrate its relationship with regional allies.

Egypt’s Foreign Ministry rejected the statement as being full of “unfounded allegations” and “reckless” information and expressed its surprise and disapproval at what it described as an inaccurate and incomplete perspective on the human rights situation in Egypt. The House of Representatives (pdf) and Senate (pdf) used similar language in criticizing the UN statement.

Tit for tat? The ministry said Egypt would present its own statement at the UNHRC, in which it will highlight shortcomings in the human rights records of some of the countries levying criticism. “The issue of human rights is in constant development. No nation has perfected it, and no nation has the right to appoint itself as judge on these matters,” the ministry said.

The story is being picked up in the international press: Reuters | The Independent.


The Mubarak family’s European assets are now unfrozen after the EU revoked sanctions imposed on nine individuals following the 2011 revolution to help the repatriation of misappropriated state funds, the EU said in a statement. The sanctioned individuals had included former first lady Suzanne Mubarak, Mubarak’s sons Alaa and Gamal and their wives, as well as former Interior Minister Habib El Adly and his wife, and former Tourism Minister Zoheir Garana.

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