The charges against the Egyptian government for violations of Human Rights
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But how useful, or useless is UN Human Right Council!!
Human Rights Council
Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review
Geneva, 8-19 February 2010
Summary prepared by the Office of the High Commissioner
for Human Rights, in accordance with paragraph 15 (c) of
the annex to Human Rights Council resolution 5/1
The present report is a summary of 37 stakeholders’ submissions1 to the universal
periodic review. It follows the structure of the general guidelines adopted by the Human
Rights Council. It does not contain any opinions, views or suggestions on the part of the
Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), nor any
judgement or determination in relation to specific claims. The information included here in
has been systematically referenced in endnotes and, to the extent possible, the original texts have not been altered. Lack of information or focus on specific issues may be due to the absence of submissions by stakeholders regarding these particular issues. The full texts of all submissions received are available on the OHCHR website. The report has been prepared taking into consideration the four-year periodicity of the first cycle of the review.
* The present document was not edited before being sent to the United Nations translation services.
United Nations A/HRC/WG.6/7/EGY/3
General Assembly Distr.: General
25 November 2009
I. Background and framework
A. Scope of international obligations
1. National Council for Human Rights (NCHR) highlighted that Egypt pledged to
accede to the CED.2 NCHR3 and Fédération Internationale des Ligues des Droits de
l’Homme (FIDH)4 called on Egypt to ratify the OP-CAT. NCHR5 called in particular for
Egypt to withdraw its reservation to article 2 of CEDAW, and Joint Submission (JS)1,6 JS67
and FIDH8 called on Egypt to ratify OP-CEDAW. JS7 added that Egypt should ratify
ICCPR-OP 1 and ICCPR-OP 2, the OP-CRPD and the Rome Statute of the ICC.9 JS5
recommended that Egypt remove its reservations to various socio-economic rights in the
Convention relating to the Status of Refugees.10
B. Constitutional and legislative framework
2. Freedom House (FH)11 and the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ)12 indicated
that Egyptians have been living under an Emergency Law since 1967. The law which was
cancelled for an 18-month period in 1980, was reinstated following the assassination of
President Anwar Sadat and has been continuously extended since 1981. Human Rights
Watch (HRW) reported that the Government invokes emergency legislation to suppress
peaceful political activities and critics and that Egypt’s Emergency law (Law No. 162 of
1958) allows authorities to detain individuals without charge and to try them in special
courts that do not meet international fair trial standards.13 Egyptian Organization for Human
Rights (EOHR) drew attention to many other laws restricting fundamental rights and public
freedoms in Egypt’s legislative structure.14
3. Open Doors International (ODI) indicated that Egypt when becoming a member of
the Human Rights Council voluntarily pledged to lift the current state of emergency upon
completion and adoption of new anti-terrorism legislation.15 NCHR noted that the
Constitutional amendment of 2007 allowed for the development of a new anti-terrorism
legislation (Article 179) as a substitute for the state of emergency. In a serious precedent
the constitutional amendment (Article 179) protected/immuned the prospective antiterrorism
law from challenging its constitutionality in case its provisions are in conflict with
Articles 41, 44 and 45 of the Constitution, which provide for personal freedoms, the right to
privacy and the sanctity of home.16 HRW said that these amendments incorporated some of
the worst aspects of emergency rule into the constitution, effectively removing safeguards
when the government deems the activity being investigated is terrorism-related.17 NCHR
expressed strong reservations regarding the Constitution amendment empowering the
President to refer terrorism-related crimes to any judicial authority established by the
Constitution or Law, including Military Courts.18 JS2 said that these amendments provide
constitutional protection for the exceptional state of affairs by circumventing the regular
judiciary and establishing a permanent, parallel court system.19 NCHR called for ending the
state of emergency and all the exceptional procedures associated with it.20
C. Institutional and human rights infrastructure
4. NCHR called for the promulgation of its proposed Unified Law for Places of
Worship. 21 JS5 noted that the NCHR has never issued a report on the situation of refugees
(or migrants) nor has the (mis)treatment of refugees featured in any of its reports.22 While
welcoming NCHR’s creation, Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) stated, inter alia, that
NCHR does not address religious freedom abuses and has no real legal or administrative
power to ensure its recommendations are implemented.23
5. NCHR called for establishing a governmental mechanism to cooperate with it and
with NGOs to follow-up on the implementation of the UPR and treaty bodies’
D. Policy measures
6. FIDH recommended that Egypt adopt a genuinely participative approach towards
civil society organizations and ensure through an adequate consultative mechanism their
contribution to decision-making related to public policy.25
II. Promotion and protection of human rights on the ground
A. Cooperation with human rights mechanisms
7. FIDH welcomed the recent visit in Egypt of the UN Special Rapporteur on human
rights and counter terrorism and hoped that this will stand as Egypt’s new will to cooperate
with the United Nations special mechanisms and treaty bodies.26 JS2,27 Amnesty
International (AI) 28 and Alkarama29 referred to the inadequate cooperation of Egypt with
human rights mechanisms. NCHR called on the Government, within the context of its
voluntary pledges, to host the OHCHR regional office for North Africa and to address an
open invitation to international procedures to visit Egypt;30 and to respond to the requested
visit of the Special Rapporteur against torture.31
B. Implementation of international human rights obligations, taking into
account applicable international humanitarian law
1. Equality and non discrimination
8. New Women Foundation (NWF) reported that the government’s adoption of the
privatization and structural adjustment policies has adversely affected women, especially in
the areas of education, health care, employment, water, housing and food prices.32 JS6
recommended the abolition of all forms of legal discrimination against women and the
adoption of a public information policy which promotes the role of women in development,
supports women’s rights and seeks to change the out-of-date culture towards women. 33
9. JS234 and HRW indicated that despite reforms, particularly of nationality laws,
Egypt’s family and penal laws still discriminate against women and girls and that
discriminatory personal status laws governing marriage, divorce, custody, and inheritance
have institutionalized the second-class status of women in the private realm.35 JS136 and JS6
recommended the adoption of a unified family code in accordance with the principles of
citizenship and equality before the law.37
10. NCHR noted, inter alia, that the 2007 Constitutional amendments emphasized the
principle of citizenship as the basis for the relationship between the citizens and the State;
and allowed for enhanced representation of women in Parliament.38 NCHR considered as
priorities the promulgation of its proposed law on equal opportunities and the eradication of
discrimination as well as setting up of an ombudsman office to oversee its
2. Right to life, liberty and security of the person
11. Arab Penal Reform Organization (APRO) provided information on the laws
prescribing the application of the death penalty, its application in exceptional courts and
that recently the death penalty was widely handed down in verdicts issued by ordinary
courts.40 NCHR called for amending national legislations to limit the death penalty to only
the gravest and most callous crimes.41 AI called on the Government to impose an immediate
moratorium on executions, commute all death sentences and progressively reduce the
number of crimes punishable by death with a view to abolition of the death penalty.42
12. JS5 reported that Egypt has violated the right to life through large scale acts of
rejection at the border and frequent shootings of refugees at or near its borders.43
13. JS2 reported that Egyptians enjoy no protection against torture, a systematic and
routine practice in police stations, State Security police headquarters and other detention
facilities, including at times in prisons and on public roads; and that, in many documented
cases, torture has resulted in death.44 HRW referred to the narrow definition of torture in
article 126 of Egypt’s Penal Code.45 AI stated that hundreds of complaints alleging torture
have been brought to the attention of the Public Prosecutor’s Office, but it has failed to
comply with its legal obligation to investigate such complaints, giving rise to a climate of
impunity.46 JS2 added that State Security police officers enjoy additional immunity against
prosecution.47 NCHR called upon the Government to combat torture, by overriding the
shortcomings of legislation which in many cases result in perpetuators and accomplices of
torture crimes evading severe punishment.48
14. HRW reported that, using the Emergency law, State Security Investigations (SSI)
agents continue to arrest arbitrarily and detain individuals without charge. They frequently
detain them incommunicado at unknown locations, meaning that that many are exposed to
enforced disappearance.49 Alkarama called for ending the use of administrative detention
and immediate release of those detained without trial; and the prohibition of detention on
SSI premises.50 AI also reported that some administrative detainees have been held for
more than a decade, despite court orders for their release.51 NCHR urged the Government to
respect the rulings of acquittal by the judiciary.52 ICJ urged the government, inter alia, to
accept independent monitoring of the detention facilities, and allow independent observers
immediate access to the detainees and prisoners.53
15. Human Rights Association for the Assistance of Prisoners (HRAAP) indicated that
prisons are regarded as places to gather the outlaws and treat them harshly.54 FH55 and
HRAAP reported on violations of prisoners rights.56 EOHR reported that most political
prisoners suffer from repeated arrests. They may remain in prisons up to 20 years, suffer
harsh mistreatment and transfer to different prisons.57 NCHR called for the amendment of
the Prisons Law and its executive regulations to be in line with the minimum standards for
the treatment of prisoners and other detainees and of the Criminal Procedures Code to adopt
the system of Judicial Supervision of Implementation.58
16. According to HRW, the government has failed to create a legal environment that
protects women from violence.59 JS260 and JS661 reported that the murder of women in
“honor crimes” is viewed sympathetically by the courts and light sentences are handed
down. NWF reported that women are exposed to forms of violence within their working
environment.62 FIDH called for protecting women from all forms of physical, psychological
and sexual violence and enacting legislation which explicitly criminalizes domestic
17. JS4 reported that girls continue to be subjected to female genital mutilation.64 AI
noted that the Child Law 2008 banned female genital mutilation except when “medically
necessary” (a qualification many fear could undermine the prohibition). 65 JS7 raised issues
relating to working children and the actual age of criminal responsibility.66 Jubilee
Campaign (JC) reported that street children are vulnerable to sex trafficking, gang
involvement and forced labour. JC recommended that Egypt must address the growing
problems of child trafficking and pass legislation criminalizing all forms of trafficking.67
Global Initiative to End All Corporal Punishment of Children (GIEACPC) strongly
recommended that the government introduce legislation as a matter of urgency, to prohibit
all corporal punishment of children in the family home, social welfare institutions and all
alternative care settings.68
3. Administration of justice, including impunity and the rule of law
18. The African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR) noted that the
independence of the judiciary remained a major subject of concern.69 FH reported that
Egypt lacks an independent judiciary and the 2006 Judicial Authority Law fell short of
comprehensive reforms advocated by the Judges’ Club.70 JS7 referred to the problems of
slowness of judicial procedures and the quality of judgments.71 FIDH called for: ensuring
and strengthening the independence of the judiciary; protecting the freedom of association
and expression of judges and; putting an immediate end to all defamation campaigns,
harassment measures and abusive disciplinary proceedings against judges.72 NCHR also
called for the transfer of the administrative affiliation of the judicial inspection to the
Supreme Council for the Judiciary.73
19. FH and AI indicated that Egypt operates two types of exceptional courts: courts
established under emergency legislation and military courts.74 AI reported that trials before
these courts violate some of the most fundamental requirements of due process and fair
trials in international law, despite amendments to the Code of Military Justice in April 2007
introducing a right of appeal by way of cassation.75 ICJ expressed concern that the Military
and emergency state security courts have been set up to shield state officials, with the effect
of entrenching systematic impunity.76 AI called on the Government to stop referring
security related cases involving civilians to military or emergency courts.77
20. According to ICJ, the 2007 constitutional amendment to article 179 and the Military
judiciary law shows that there is no separation between the military judicial system and the
Executive branch of Government.78 For AI, this lack of judicial independence and
impartiality is particularly disturbing considering the complexity and seriousness of
terrorism-related cases and the fact that many defendants before these courts allege that
they were tortured to make them “confess” and sentences as harsh as the death penalty have
4. Right to privacy, marriage and family life
21. According to HRW, Article 31(bis) of the Child Law amends the Civil Code to
require in order to register a marriage, mandatory testing showing that couples who wish to
marry are “free of diseases that affect life or health of each of them, or on their
offspring,”.80 Institute on Religion and Public Policy (IRPP) stated that interfaith marriage
is not allowed, and the consequences for such marriages are severe.81
22. Fundaci?n Mundial Déjame Vivir En Paz (FMDVP) noted that homosexuality and
AIDS are two of the biggest taboos in Egypt, not only are they viewed badly by society but
can also land you in jail.82 Similar information was reported by HRW83 and AI.84
5. Freedom of movement
23. ACHPR said that the main subject of concern was the allegation that curfews were
declared arbitrarily, thus restricting freedom of movement.85
6. Freedom of religion or belief, expression, association and peaceful assembly,
and right to participate in public and political life
24. JS2 stated that the Government persists in maintaining laws and policies that
entrench discrimination on the basis of religion or faith.86 AI stated that legal restrictions
and government controls limit the activities of political parties, NGOs, professional
associations, trade unions and the news media.87 Restrictions on freedom of expression,
including criticism of government policies and especially direct criticism of the President
were reported by the Islamic Human Rights Commission (IHRC).88
25. JS2 stated that some of the most prominent forms of discrimination are those related
to the freedom to engage in religious rites and establish or renovate churches.89 European
Association of Jehovah’s Christian Witnesses called upon the Government of Egypt to,
inter alia, cancel the directives that prohibit registering a title to property belonging to
Jehovah’s Witnesses; and legally register Jehovah’s Witnesses as a Christian religion, with
the rights to worship freely as guaranteed by Egypt’s Constitution.90
26. IRPP stated that the exclusion and discrimination of certain religious groups has led
to many problems with regards to individuals exercising the rights of citizenship.91 CSW
noted, inter alia, that Coptic Christians are considerably under-represented within the public
sector,92 specifically in the security services and military.93 Baha’i International Community
(BIC) stated that for decades, members of the Bah?’? religious minority in Egypt faced
persecution and discrimination.94 BIC reported on the essential purposes of national ID
cards and other official documents in Egypt95 and that in 2009 the Ministry of Interior had
issued a decree, which was also welcomed by FIDH,96 specifying that individuals could
now obtain government documents without identifying themselves as belonging to a
particular religion.97 HRW reported that authorities routinely deny Muslim converts to
Christianity any ability to reflect their conversion in vital identification documents.98
27. CSW stated that Muslims who decide to change their religion, particularly to the
Christian faith, are the most vulnerable to both state-sponsored persecution and to
discrimination originating from their own communities.99 HRW reported that authorities
have also arrested individuals for public adherence to a non-orthodox understanding of
Islam or Christianity.100 Becket Fund for Religious Liberty (BF) reported that violence and
destruction of private property directed towards non-Muslims and Muslim minorities
continues pervasively throughout Egypt.101 FIDH recommended that the Government
actively prosecute those who are involved in incitement of violence on religious grounds.102
BF reported that articles of the Penal Code, particularly its art 98 (f) are consistently used
against individuals who engage in peaceful debate about religion.103 According to AI, a
draft law examined by parliamentary committee in May 2009 stipulates prison sentences
and heavy fines for defaming any of the monotheistic religions or their prophets or the
publication of such defamatory statements.104 BF encouraged the Human Rights Council to
engage in a constructive debate in regard to the use of domestic blasphemy and
“defamation of religions” laws in Egypt.105
28. NCHR indicated that in 2006, the Government introduced amendments to the Penal
Code with regards to the crimes of opinion.106 HRW stated that these amendments
maintained broadly-worded provisions which invite abuse and contravene international
standards.107 JS3 indicated that the imposition of criminal penalties for acts of defamation
creates a chilling effect on expression and leads to self-censorship.108 According to AI,
media freedoms remain curtailed and draft legislation on audio-visual media would further
restrict freedom of expression, proposing that journalists found to have damaged “social
peace”, “national unity”, “public order” or “public values” should face up to three years in
prison.109 International PEN (IPEN) noted that Internet writers (or bloggers) in Egypt are
among the most harassed in the world.110 FH, JS3 and JS7 referred to the case of a blogger
examined by the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, which determined that his
detention was arbitrary and in violation of international legal standards.111 Arabic Network
for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) also provided specific information of violations
against journalists and bloggers, and the government’s practice of limiting the freedom of
internet use and transmission of satellite channels.112 IPEN requested that Egypt abolish
laws that allow for censorship and restrictions on the Internet,113 and recommended the
revoking of all laws that allow for the arrest and imprisonment of any media member
peacefully practicing his or her right to freedom of expression.114 JS3 recommended that the
authorities should adopt comprehensive right to information legislation through a process of
consultation115 and substantially amend the whole system of media regulation to bring it
into line with international standards.
29. According to JS2, student and academic freedom has witnessed ongoing constraints
and violations. Security approval has become a prerequisite for appointment, promotion,
and travel abroad by members of the academic community for academic purposes.116
ANHRI reported that Hisba lawsuits have become widespread, as a citizen can sue others
before various kinds of judiciaries under the pretence of “fear for the security of the State”
and “fear for the interest of the Islamic religion.”117 NCHR called for: complete abolition of
penalties that deprive freedoms for crimes of publishing; and amendment of the relevant
laws to establish guarantees to limit the number of lawsuits against intellectuals, writers and
30. EOHR reported that the right to freedom of assembly is widely violated by the law
of Assembly and the Law of Meeting and Demonstration.119 FH reported that the
Emergency Law grants to the Egyptian police apparatus the power to: impose restrictions
on freedom of assembly, movement, and residence; and prevent and disrupt peaceful
opposition demonstrations, arrest participants, and physically abuse them on site and while
31. Lawyers Union for Democratic and Legal Studies (LUDLS) reported on restrictions
of non-governmental organizations’ work, particularly on account of Law No. 84 of
2002.121 Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies (CIHRS) asked the Human Rights
Council, inter alia, to support the efforts of civil society organizations in overturning Law
84/2002 and passing a democratic law, upholding the right to organize, in particular
freedom of association.122 FIDH called for putting an end to the use of provisions of the
laws on the state of emergency and against terrorism and all other security-related
legislation, as a basis for criminalising or imposing arbitrary restrictions on the peaceful
activities and freedom of expression of civil society organizations.123
32. FH indicated that the state of emergency has been a primary obstacle to democratic
progress in Egypt and has stifled the development of electoral democracy in both name and
practice.124 IRPP highlighted that massive restrictions of political opposition exists.125 HRW
reported that authorities regularly arrest Muslim Brotherhood members, charge them with
membership in an illegal organization and try them before military and state security courts,
and that such crackdowns frequently occur prior to elections.126 Egyptian Association for
Community Participation Enhancement (EACPE) reported that the National Democratic
Party (NDP) won 84 out of 88 seats in the Advisory Council Election of 2007,127 and
obtained 99.13 per cent of the total number of seats during the Local Council elections in
2008.128 ACHPR recommended that independent, free and democratic presidential elections
should be guaranteed, and also that such elections should include the participation of more
candidates.129 NCHR suggested: implementing the Proportional List Election System;
revisiting the system of election supervision; completing the process to verify and
modernize the voter lists; and facilitating for Egyptian expatriates their right to vote in
7. Right to work and to just and favourable conditions of work
33. Centre for Trade Unions and Workers Services (CTUWS) stated that the Act No.35
of 1976 and its amendments No1 of 1981 and No. 12 of 1995 run counter to labour
standards expressly laid down in the ILO Convention 87.131 HRW reported that all trade
unions are compelled to affiliate with the only legally-recognized labour federation, the
Egyptian Trade Union Federation (ETUF).132 CTUWS added that depriving the Egyptian
workers from their right to establish independent and free trade unions has direct impacts
on other important standards, as the rights to strike, negotiate and enter into collective
34. According to CTUWS, although the Labour Law stipulates the establishment of a
Higher Council for Wages to determine the minimum wages and periodical increments, this
Council did not perform its function.134 JS4 stated that Government policies have further
exacerbated the already serious employment situation by promoting temporary contracting
in the public sector and fixing wages at levels below global averages135 and that members of
the informal sector have suffered a deterioration of their real earnings.136 NWF reported that
women suffer from discrimination in employment, especially those working in the informal
sector who are left outside the scope of legal protection.137 JS4 recommended activating the
emergency and unemployment funds; taking legal action against employers who arbitrarily
lay off workers and violate their rights138 and assessing the outcomes of the privatization
programmes and their implications on labour rights and conditions of work.139
8. Right to social security and to an adequate standard of living
35. JS2 reported that social justice indicators have continued to deteriorate as poverty
rates have increased, urban-rural economic disparities have grown and the gap between rich
and poor has widened.140 JS4 recommended that the Government: give due consideration to
the geographic dimension of poverty in programmes addressing poverty reduction;141
ensure universal access to basic social services; reform the scope of subsidy programs and
integrate empowerment programmes that target poor communities beyond the ones
calculated at US$1 per day;142 and develop clear policies that empower women as a corner
stone in poverty reduction and development plans.143 NCHR considered as a priority the
establishment of a social security network that provides insurance against unemployment,
sickness, and ageing and that takes into consideration equity in the distribution of
36. FIDH stated that widespread poverty and dislocation has led to farmers and their
families as well as others being subjected to violence on a wide scale.145 JS4 stated that the
cornerstone of peasant eviction from agricultural land and housing is Law 96 of 1992 and
reported that at least 4.5 million people may be without livelihood due to these forms of
eviction and dispossession.146
37. EOHR stated that Egyptian citizens are still facing many violations due to poor
services in public health-care centres, leading to medical negligence, the unavailability of
free health care, and a lack of qualified medical doctors, nurses and assistances.147 JS4
stated that the lack of access to maternal health contributes to maternal mortality, especially
in rural areas.148According to JS4, almost half of Egyptians do not have health insurance.
The Government is planning to submit a new health insurance bill and there are concerns
that it would include a limited package of services and the premiums and co-payments
would be costly.149 JS4 recommended adoption of a policy focused on guaranteeing access
38. JS4 stated that stigma and discrimination against people living with HIV are very
common. A number of decrees prohibit people living with HIV from certain governmental
posts,151 and another discriminated against people with hepatitis C and B.152 JS 4
recommended that the Government annul all decrees that discriminate against people
because of their health status.153 JS7 noted discrimination against persons with disabilities
in accessing universities and that the legal provision to assign to them 5 per cent of public
jobs is contradicted.154 JS4 also noted adoption of a new law significantly improving the
rights of persons with mental disorders and the very narrow scope of its application.155
39. EOHR reported that 18 million families live in slums. About 300,000 houses in
Cairo lack basic safety standards and are at the risk of collapse.156 JS4 reported that slum
dwellers have fewer opportunities accessing jobs, education, healthcare, adequate housing,
food, clean water and sanitation. JS4 noted that the government has made multiple attempts
to displace marginalized and poor residents throughout Cairo’s slum areas, which have been
met with severe resistance and that government pledges to offer alternative housing have
not always been honoured.157 According to EOHR, some people started living in graveyards
because of deteriorating economic conditions and their inability to rent any adequate
40. Maat for Peace Development and Human Rights (MPDHR) provided information on
water pollution and resulting diseases.159 JS7 mentioned that in the last three years,
thousands of citizens held demonstrations and strikes in many governorates because of
rareness of drinking water.160 JS4 reported that access to adequate sanitation is low,
especially in rural areas.161 MPDHR added that there is unfairness in distributing services of
rubbish collection in districts and governorates.162
41. ACHPR recommended that the problems of environmental pollution should be
addressed, especially in urban areas.163
42. NCHR called on the Government to develop a comprehensive plan, with a time
frame to clear the north-west coast from landmines within an international framework of
9. Right to education and to participate in the cultural life of the community
43. According to JS4, despite the declared education policy aimed at increasing school
enrolment, fewer children are going to school and adult illiteracy rates (15+) have stayed at
around 30 per cent.165 JS7 indentified such problems as overcrowding of classes, spreading
of private classes and lack of respect for education quality standards.166 JS4 added that rural
women are much less likely to have access to education.167 It recommended focusing
reform efforts at increasing and maintaining enrolment rates, reducing dropouts, building
new schools, giving incentive premiums for teachers to serve in poor areas and expanding
maintenance of the existing education infrastructure.168
10. Minorities and indigenous peoples
44. JS2 reported that: population groups living in peripheral areas face additional
marginalization; the Bedouins of the Sinai Desert are denied ownership of the land on
which they live; and, since the bombings in Sinai in 2004, Bedouins have faced blatant
security abuses, their residential areas have been raided and thousands of Bedouin men
arrested and tortured.169 Egyptian Centre for Housing Rights (ECHR) indicated that Nubian
people in Egypt, a distinct ethnic, cultural and linguistic group170 are suffering from
continued governmental policies of de-Nubianization, including through: re-settling Arab
groups in the lands that Nubians reclaim.171 ECHR stated that there is discrimination in
practice against Nubians and referred to the media and to stereotyping through the
presentation of negative images of Nubians.172 For ECHR, if the government has the will to
heal such violations, it has to recognize Nubians as an indigenous people who are entitled
to peoples’ rights under international human rights law.173
11. Migrants, refugees and asylum-seekers
45. While recognizing the refuge provided by Egypt, JS5 stated that there continue to be
serious and repeated violations of the rights of refugees in Egypt.174 JS5 noted that specific
refugee populations, notably Shia Iraqis and Palestinians are denied all legal permission to
form associations.175 Egyptian employers routinely refuse to employ non-Egyptians176 and
refugee children are routinely denied access to education.177 JS5 submitted that refugees
from a neighbouring country (and most other African) refugees report experiencing racism
in Egypt, including refusal of access to public places and transport, higher prices, refusal of
permission to rent property, derogatory remarks, and physical violence.178 AI reported that
in December 2005, 27 Sudanese refugees and migrants were killed and others injured and
that investigations into the killings were closed despite criticism by NGOs.179
46. EOHR reported that: Egyptian migrant workers suffer from a terrible labour
management system, known as “Kafeel” or the guarantor’s system.180
47. JS5 noted that refoulement to a country where refugees fear prosecution has been a
large scale and repeated occurrence since 2008.181 AI reported that hundreds have been tried
and sentenced by military courts for “attempting to exit unlawfully the Egyptian eastern
border” and that none has been allowed access to UNHCR representatives to seek
12. Human rights and counter-terrorism
48. AI indicated there has been no consultation with civil society regarding the draft
new anti-terrorism law to replace the emergency legislation, despite requests for such
consultations and fears that the new law will entrench certain emergency powers currently
exercised by state security officials, the Office of the Public Prosecutor and the President.183
According to EOHR, the new draft law, which was leaked by Egyptian newspapers, is the
newest endorsement of a police state supported by constitutional violations.184 AI called on
the government to ensure that new legislation being developed to combat terrorism takes
full account of international human rights law and Egypt’s obligations under international
human rights treaties, and does not entrench under statute law, emergency or other
provisions that currently facilitate serious human rights violations.185
49. Alkarama reported that in the framework of international cooperation in the fight
against terrorism, dozens of suspects have been unlawfully transferred to Egypt.186 FIDH
added that the role of Egypt in international anti-terror efforts must be thoroughly
investigated.187 ACHPR said that steps should be taken to ensure that anti-terrorism
measures complied with human rights standards.188
III. Achievements, best practices, challenges and constraints
50. HRW noted the positive reforms to Egypt’s Child Law in June 2008 such as
including criminal penalties for officials who detain children with adults. Reforms however,
did not include an absolute ban on violence against children.189 JS2 noted that several
advances have been made in women’s rights, including the issuance of a family court law,
the partial elimination of discrimination against women in their ability to pass on the
Egyptian citizenship to their children, and measures implemented for the appointment of
women in the administrative prosecution and the judiciary.190
51. NCHR considered that the culture and knowledge of human rights is a core
challenge to the Egyptian society. Despite increased governmental efforts to promote this
culture, there is a need to increase its effectiveness and to broaden its scope.191
52. JS7 reported that according to international organizations, corruption in Egypt is a
main obstacle for development and investment.192 NCHR called for operationalizing the
measures for transparency, anti-corruption, anti-trust and accountability.193
IV. Key national priorities, initiatives and commitments
V. Capacity-building and technical assistance
53. NCHR called on the Government to enter into agreement for technical cooperation
with the United Nations to rehabilitate the law enforcement bodies for the post state of
emergency phase, and the detainees and prisoners for security and political reasons,
following their extended periods of detention.194
1 The stakeholders listed below have contributed information for this summary; the full texts of all
original submissions are available at: www.ohchr.org. NB:* NGOs with ECOSOC status ;** : NHRI
with “A” status
AI Amnesty International, London, United Kingdom;*
Alkarama Alkarama for Human Rights, Geneva, Switzerland;
ANHRI Arabic Network for Human Rights Information, Cairo, Egypt;
APRO Arab Penal Reform Organization, Cairo, Egypt;
BF The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, Washington D.C., USA;*
BIC Bah?’? International Community, Geneva, Switzerland;
CIHRS Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies, Cairo, Egypt;*
CSW Christian Solidarity Worldwide, New Malden, United Kingdom;
CTUWS Centre for Trade Unions and Workers Services, Cairo, Egypt;
EACPE Egyptian Association for Community Participation Enhancement, Cairo,
EAJCW The European Association of Jehovah’s Christian Witnesses, Kraineem,
ECHR Egyptian Centre for Housing Rights, Cairo, Egypt;
EOHR Egyptian Organization for Human Rights, Geneva, Switzerland;*
FH Freedom House, Washington D.C., USA;*
FIDH Fédération Internationale des Droits de l’Homme, Geneva, Switzerland ;*
FMDVP Fundacion Mundial Dejame Vivir en Paz, Costa Rica;
GIEACPC Global Initiative to End All Corporal Punishment of Children, London, United
HRAAP Human Rights Association for the Assistance of Prisoners, Cairo, Egypt;
HRW Human Rights Watch, Geneva, Switzerland;*
ICJ International Commission of Jurists, Geneva, Switzerland;*
IHRC Islamic Human Rights Commission, Wembley, United Kingdom;*
IPEN International PEN, London, United Kingdom;*
IRPP Institute on Religion and Public Policy, Washington D.C., USA;
JC Jubilee Campaign, Fairfax, USA;*
JS1 CEWLA (Center for Egyptian Women’s Legal Assistance Foundation), Ard
El Lewa, Egypt; EFACC (Egyptian Foundation for Advancement of the
Childhood Conditions), Egypt; FDPD (Forum of Dialogue and Partnership for
Development), Giza, Egypt; CADH (Mwaten Association for Development
and Human Rights), Egypt; (Association for Education Support and
Development), Egypt; AOL (Arab Office for Law), Cairo, Egypt;
JS2 CIHRS (The Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies), Cairo, Egypt; Al
Nadeem Centre (Al-Nadim Center for Treatment and Psychological
Rehabilitation for Victims of Violence), Cairo, Egypt; Andalusitas (Andalus
Institute for Tolerance and Anti-Violence Studies), Cairo, Egypt; APRO
(Arab Penal Reform Organization), Egypt; AHRLA (Association for Human
Rights Legal Aid), Giza, Egypt; GHRLA (The Group for Human Rights Legal
Aid), Egypt; HMLC (Hesham Moubarak Law Center), Egypt; LCHR (Land
Center for Human Rights), Cairo, Egypt; NWRC (New Woman Research
Center), Cairo, Egypt; ANHRI (The Arabic Network for Human Rights
Information), Cairo, Egypt; CTUWS (The Center for Trade Union and
Workers’ Services), Cairo, Egypt; EACPE (The Egyptian Association for
Community Participation Enhancement), Cairo, Egypt; EIPR (Egyptian
Initiative for Personal Rights) and HRCAP (The Human Rights Center for the
Assistance of Prisoners), Cairo, Egypt; AFTE (Association for Freedom of
Thought and Expression) and ECESR (The Egyptian Center For Economic
and Social Rights), Egypt;
JS3 OSJI (Open Society Justice Initiative), New York, USA;* XIX-Article 19
(Article 19, International Centre Against Censorship), London, United
JS4 ANND (the Arab NGO Network for Development), Beirut, Libanon; AHED
(the Association for Health and Environmental Development), Cairo, Egypt;
EIPR (the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights), Cairo, Egypt; BAHRO (the
Budgetary and Human Rights Observatory), Egypt; CESR (the Centre for
Economic and Social Rights), New York, USA;* ECESR (the Egyptian
Centre for Economic and Social Rights), Egypt; HLRN-HIC (the Housing and
Land Rights Network- Habitat International Coalition), Giza, Egypt;* also
endorsed by EACPE (the Egyptian Association for Community Participation
Enhancement), Cairo, Egypt; CTUWS (Center for Trade Union and Workers
Services), Cairo, Egypt; LCHR (Land Centre for Human Rights), Cairo,
Egypt; AAFHR (Awlad Alard Foundation for Human Rights), Cairo, Egypt;
AFCSHR (Arab Foundation for Civil Society and Human Rights Support),
Cairo, Egypt; BLACD (Better Life Association for Comprehensive
Development) and CMHR (Civic Monitor for Human Rights), Al Menya,
Egypt; PhMovement (People’s Health Movement), Cairo, Egypt; HCER (Habi
Centre for Environmental Rights), Cairo, Egypt;
JS5 EFFR (The Egyptian Foundation for Refugee Rights), Egypt; CMRS
(”Outreach Program”, the Center for Migration and Refugee Studies), at the
American University in Cairo, Egypt; AACM (the Abanos Association for
Childhood and Motherhood), Cairo, Egypt;
JS6 Egyptian CEDAW Coalition, Cairo, Egypt;
JS7 Maat (Maat for Peace, Development and Human Rights), Giza, Egypt; Maat
(the Maat Center for Judicial and Constitutional Studies), Giza, Egypt; the
Moltaqa Alhewar Institution for Development and Human Rights), Giza,
Egypt; Sahebaa Al Galala Charity, Giza, Egypt; the Markaz Al Kalema
Institution for Human Rights, Cairo, Egypt; the Egyptian Institution to
Develop Childhood Status, Alexandria, Egypt; the Assembly of Human
Rights and Development in Asyoot), Helwan, Egypt; the Shmooa Assembly to
keep Human rights and Develop Local Society, Cairo, Egypt; the Arab
Institution for Democratic Studies and Human Rights, Asyoot, Egypt; Al
Montazah Assembly for Cultural Development, Aswan, Egypt; the Egyptian
Institution for Refugee’s Rights, Giza, Egypt; Assembly of Christian Youth,
Giza, Egypt; the Sawaseah Center for Human Rights and Resisting
Discrimination, Cairo, Egypt; the Constitutional and Legal Assembly for
Human Rights, Alexandria, Egypt; the Tanweer Center for Development and
Human Rights, Cairo, Egypt; Safer Al Khair Assembly, Dakahlia, Egypt; the
Assembly of Keeping and Guarding Human Rights, Cairo, Egypt; also
evaluated by the Egyptian Institution for Training and Human Rights, Giza,
Egypt; Institution of Human Development in Al Mansoura, Dakahlia, Egypt;
Ayoon Center for Studies and Developing Human Rights, Asyoot, Egypt; Al
Adalla Institution for Development and Human Rights, Al Gharbia, Egypt; Al
Adalla Institution for Human Development, Society Development and Human
Rights, Sohag, Egypt; Manf Institution for Development and Cultural and
Environmental Tourism; Giza, Egypt; Egyptian Assembly for Human
Development, Al Sharkia, Egypt; Tanweer Institution for Education and
Development, Al Menia, Egypt; ; Al Mashrek Institution for Development and
Residents, Al Sharkia, Egypt; Egyptian Civil Assembly for science and
scientists’ lovers, Alexandria, Egypt; ; Institution of Al Sharkia Youth for
Development, Al Sharkia, Egypt; Helaly Institution for Development and
Social Assistances, Alexandria, Egypt; Bent Misr Institution for Development,
Alexandria, Egypt; Specific Alliance for Women in Red Sea, Red Sea
Governorate, Egypt; Around World Institution for Development, 6th October
Governate, Egypt; Assembly of Keeping Alkaseer Tradition, Red Sea
Governate, Egypt; Omar Ben Khattab Assembly for Developing Society, Red
Sea Governorate, Egypt; Society Development Assembly for Woman in Qena,
Qena Governate, Egypt; Social Assembly of Asyoot Development, Asyoot,
Egypt; Assembly of Social Development to Protect rural woman in Hormas,
Sohag, Egypt; Al Amal Assembly for Developing Family, Qena, Egypt;
Aoroba Assembly for Human Rights, Alexandria, Egypt; Alresala Alkhalilia
Assembly, Qena, Egypt; Family Developing Assembly in Armant, Quena,
Egypt; Egyptian Assembly for Developing and Defending Human Rights and
Environment, Al Gharbia, Egypt; Egyptian Woman Assembly for Social
Development and Environment, Cairo, Egypt; Assembly of Arab Women
league, Al Menia, Egypt; Amwag Assembly for Cultural and Creative Artist,
Alexandria, Egypt; Altaawn Assembly to Develop Local Society, Giza, Egypt;
Almosadreen in Asyoot, Asyoot, Egypt; Assembly of Youth Businessmen,
Asyoot, Egypt; Watany Assembly for Development and Social Care, Egypt;
LUDLS Lawyers Union For Democratic and Legal Studies, Giza, Egypt;
MPDHR Maat for Peace Development and Human Rights, Giza, Egypt;
NWF New Woman Foundation, Giza, Egypt;
ODI Open Doors International, Harderwijk, The Netherlands;
Regional intergovernmental organization
CADHP/ACHPR African Commission on Human and People’s Rights, Banjul, The Gambia;
National human rights institution
NCHR National Council for Human Rights, Cairo, Egypt;**
2 NCHR, para. 28.
3 NCHR, para.11 b.
4 FIDH, p. 3.
5 NCHR, para. 31.
6 JS1, p. 3.
7 JS6, p. 5.
8 FIDH, p. 4.
9 JS7, p. 3.
10 JS5, p. 9, part 4 (recommendations).
11 FH, p. 1, para. 5.
12 ICJ, p. 1.
13 HRW, p. 1. See also: JS2, p. 1, para. 2, and p. 4, para. 15, FH, p. 1, para. 3, BF, p. 2, EOHR, p. 1,
para.1, IHRC, p. 1, para.1, IRPP, p. 2, para. 5 and ICJ, pp. 1-2.
14 EOHR, pp. 1-4.
15 ODI, p. 1. See also JS7, p. 3.
16 NCHR, para. 4.
17 HRW, p. 1; See also BF, p. 1.
18 NCHR, para. 4. See also AI, p. 1, and FIDH, p. 1.
19 JS2, p. 5, para. 18
20 NCHR, para. 5.
21 NCHR, para. 9. See also JS7 p. 10, (recommendation 4).
22 JS5, p. 2.
23 CSW, p. 5, para. 25.
24 NCHR, para. 32 e.
25 FIDH, p. 3.
26 FIDH, p. 1.
27 JS2, p. 2, para. 6.
28 AI, pp. 2, 3 and 5.
29 Alkarama, p. 1.
30 NCHR, para. 32 (a) and (d). See also, JS5, p. 9, section 4 (recommendations).
31 AI, p. 5. See also FIDH, p. 3.
32 NWF, p. 1.
33 JS6, p. 5.
34 JS2, pp. 9-10, paras. 33-35.
35 HRW, p. 3. See also IRPP, p. .2, para. 7 and JS1, pp. 2-3.
36 JS1, p .3.
37 JS6, p. 5.
38 NCHR, para. 3. See also NCHR, para. 7, JS6, p. 1 and JS7, p. 7 and p. 11, (recommendation 13).
39 NCHR, para. 20 b.
40 APRO, p. 5. see also JS7, p. 3.
41 NCHR, para. 11 a.
42 AI, p. 5.
43 JS5, p. 4. See also AI, p. 4 , HRW, p. 3 and FIDH, p. 2.
44 JS2, p. 2, para. 8. See also EOHR, p. 4, AI, p. 2, ICJ, pp. 3-4, and Alkarama, p. 5.
45 HRW, p. 2.
46 AI, p. 2.
47 JS2, p. 3, para. 9.
48 NCHR, para. 11 b., See also HRW, p. 2, AI, p. 5 and HRAAP, pp. 3-4.
49 HRW, p. 1. See also: EOHR, pp. 4-5, JS2, p. 3, para. 12, and HRAAP, p. 3.
50 Alkarama, p. 6.
51 AI, p. 3.
52 NCHR, para. 11 c.
53 ICJ, p. 4.
54 HRAAP, p. 1.
55 FH, p. 2, para. 10.
56 HRAAP, p. 2.
57 EOHR, p. 4.
58 NCHR, para. 11 f. See also JS7, p. 10, (recommendation 5).
59 HRW, p. 3.
60 JS2, p. 9, para. 34.
61 JS6, p. 2.
62 NWF, p. 1. and p. 4, paras. 3-7.
63 FIDH, p. 4.
. 64 JS4, p. 8, para. 50.
65 AI, p. 1.
66 JS7, p. 7.
67 JC, pp. 4-5. See also JS7, p. 7 and p. 11, (recommendation 14).
68 GIEACPC, p. 1. See also JS1, p. 8.
69 CADHP, p. 4, para. 18.
70 FH, p. 4, para. 17. See also JS2, p. 5, para. 19.
71 JS7, p. 5.
72 FIDH, p. 3.
73 NCHR, para.11 d.
74 FH, p. 4, para. 17, and AI, p. 1.
75 AI, p. 2.
76 ICJ, p. 5.
77 AI, p. 5.
78 ICJ, p. 4.
79 AI, pp. 2-3.
80 HRW, p. 3.
81 IRPP, p. 1 and p. 2, para. 7.
82 FMDVP, pp. 2 and 3.
83 HRW, p. 3.
84 AI, p. 4. See also AI, p. 5.
85 CADHP, p. 4, para.17.
86 JS2, p. 5, para. 20.
87 AI, p. 3.
88 IHRC, p. 4, para. 9.
89 JS2, p. 5, para. 20.
90 EAJCW, p. 5.
91 IRPP, p. 3, para. 11.
92 CSW, p. 2, para. 9
93 IRPP, p. 4, para. 17
94 BIC, p. 1. See also BF , p.3, IRPP, p. 3, 4, Para. 13, 14, ODI, p. 4 and CSW, p. 4, paras. 16-17.
95 BIC, p. 2.
96 FIDH, p. 4.
97 BIC, p. 5. See also JS7, p. 4.
98 HRW, p. 3. See also CSW, p. 3, paras.13-14 CSW, pp. 3-4 para.15 and ODI, p. 3, 4.
99 CSW, p. 3, para. 13.
100 HRW, p. 3.
101 BF, p. 5. See also JS7, p. 3.
102 FIDH, p. 4.
103 BF, p. 4, para. 3.3.
104 AI, p. 1.
105 BF, p. 5.
106 NCHR, para. 12
107 HRW, p. 2, See also FIDH, p. 1, JS3,. 1, Para.4, ANHRI,. 1, 2, NCHR, para. 12
108 JS3, p. 2, para. 9.
109 AI, p. 1.
110 IPEN, p. 1. See also JS2, p. 6, para. 21 and JS7, p. 4.
111 FH, p. 3 , para.15, JS3 , pp. 1-2, para. 5 and JS7, p. 4. .
112 ANHRI, pp. 2 and 3.
113 IPEN, p. 3.
114 IPEN, P. 3.
115 JS3, P. 5, para. 22; See also NCHR, para. 12 c.
116 JS2, p. 6, para. 22.
117 ANHRI, p. 5.
118 NCHR, para. 12 a and b.
119 EOHR, p. 2, para. 4. See also JS7, p. 5.
120 FH, p. 3, para. 12. See also HRW, p. 1.
121 LUDLS, p. 1, 2. See also NCHR, para. 14, JS2, p. 6, 7, para. 23, JS3, p. 4, para.19 and JS7, p. 5.
122 CIHRS, p. 5. See also NCHR, para.14, ODI, p. 5, CSW, p. 1, para. 4.
123 FIDH, p. 2, 3.
124 FH, p. 1, paras. 3 and 4.
125 IRPP, p. 2, para. 3. See also IRPP, p. 4, para. 16.
126 HRW, pp. 1-2.
127 EACPE, pp. 3-4, para. 6.
128 EACPE, pp. 4-5, paras. 8-9.
129 CADHP, p. 4.
130 NCHR, para. 18.
131 CTUWS, p. 1.
132 HRW, p. 2; See also JS2, p. 7, para. 25; See also CTUWS, pp. 1 and 2.
133 CTUWS, p. 3.
134 CTUWS, p. 3.
135 JS4, p. 5, para. 25.
136 JS4, p. 4, para. 21.
137 NWF, p. 1. See also JS6, pp. 2-3.
138 JS4, p. 5, para. 26.
139 JS4, p. 5, para. 27.
140 JS.2, p. 1.
141 JS4, p. 4, para. 16.
142 JS4, p. 4, para. 17.
143 JS4, p. 4, para. 18.
144 NCHR, para. 20 a.
145 FIDH, p. 5.
146 JS4, p. 3, para. 13.
147 EOHR, p. 5.
148 JS4, p. 8, para. 49.
149 JS4, p. 8, para. 46; See also MPDHR, p. 5.
150 JS4, p. 10, para. 63.
151 JS4, p. 9, para. 51.
152 JS4, p. 9, para. 51.
153 JS4, p. 9, para. 56.
154 JS7, p. 7 and p. 11, (recommendation 19). See also JS1, pp. 9 and 10.
155 JS4, p. 9, para. 52.
156 EOHR, p. 6.
157 JS4, p. 3, para. 12.
158 EOHR, p. 6.
159 MPDHR, p. 3. See also JS7, p. 8.
160 JS7, p. 7.
161 JS4, p. 3, para. 14.
162 MPDHR, p. 4.
163 CADHP, p. 5.
164 NCHR, para. 24.
165 JS4, p. 6, para. 30.
166 JS7, p. 8.
167 JS4, p. 6, para. 33.
168 JS4, p. 7, para. 36.
169 JS 2, p. 9, para. 31.
170 ECHR, p. 1, para. 5.
171 ECHR, p. 2, para. 12.
172 ECHR, pp. 3-4, para. 20.
173 ECHR, p. 5, para. 27.
174 JS5, p. 1, para. 1.
175 JS5, p. 6, para. 2.2.5.
176 JS5, p. 7, para. 2.2.6.
177 JS5, p. 8, para. 2.2.8.
178 JS5, p. 3, para. 2.2.1.
179 AI, p. 4. See also FIDH, p. 2 and JS5, pp. 6-7.
180 EOHR, p. 6.
181 JS5, p. 4. See also HRW, p. 3.
182 AI, p. 4.
183 AI, p. 2; See also JS7, p. 1.
184 EOHR, p. 1.
185 AI, p. 4.
186 Alkarama, p. 6.
187 FIDH, p. 2.
188 CADHP, p. 5.
189 HRW, p. 4.
190 JS2, p. 9, para. 33.
191 NCHR, para. 26. See also JS7, p. 11.
192 JS7, p. 8 and p. 11, (recommendation 18).
193 NCHR, para.20 c. See also, NCHR, para. 17.
194 NCHR, para. 6.