Global Campaign Backs Freedoms in Egypt, Amnesty International Warns of Popular Eruption
Sunday, June 3,2007 00:00
By Wael Ali & Fathia al-Dakhakhni, Almasry Alyoum

Nine international human rights organizations expressed concern and deep regret over the human rights conditions in Egypt after the recent constitutional and legal amendments. They criticized the fact that Egypt was accepted in the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, without having made any commitment to improving the human rights situation, and to stopping the deterioration of the fundamental freedoms.

 In a statement on the sidelines of the international conference held in London on human rights in Egypt, the organizations, including Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, the French Observatory for Human Rights, asserted that that the continued implementation of the emergency law since 1981 or its replacement with a new alternative legislation only gives a false legitimacy to the abuse of power in Egypt.

 They noted that they will hold several meetings in Paris, Cairo and Brussels as part of a wide-ranging campaign of solidarity with the rights and freedoms in Egypt.

On the other hand, Human Rights Watch said that the Egyptian government has tightened its campaign on the Muslim Brotherhood shortly before the Shura Council elections.

In the same week that Egypt boasted becoming a member of the International Council for Human Rights, Vice president of the Middle East Section at the International Organization Justork said, “Groups of people were arrested for the sole reason that they were exercising their right to freedom of organization and expression.”

He added, “Egyptians can disagree on the extent and degree of the Muslim Brotherhood’s sincerity and commitment to democracy, and this is what they do, but the government’s repression of the group underestimates human rights and fundamental freedoms.” In turn,

the Secretary General of Amnesty International Irene Khan warned Egypt and the region of a popular explosion if there is no real reform that would lead to a peaceful transition of power.

In ‘al-Masry al-Youm’ seminar the day before yesterday, Irene said “If there is no real reform, the reaction will be very violent, and people will be forced to use illegitimate means. There are unofficial players emerging on the scene in the region, such as Hamas and Hezbollah.”

She added that people listen to such groups because they respond to their demands, though groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas and Hezbollah do not necessarily observe human rights.

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