European Human Rights Calls on EU to Break Its Silence
European Human Rights Calls on EU to Break Its Silence
Wednesday, December 8,2010 12:47

A statement issued by the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Network (EMHRN)
expressed concern about Egypt’s parliamentary elections where voting irregularities
and fraud were reported.

Catherine Ashton, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy,
indicated that the union was concerned by reports of irregularities, restricted access
for independent observers and candidates' representatives into polling stations, media
restrictions and the arbitrary arrests of opposition activists. In particular, the Muslim
Brotherhood has faced a fierce crackdown since it announced it would take part in the
elections and over 1400 MB members have been detained.

Marc Schade-Poulsen EMHRN executive director urged the EU to do more, stressing
that Egypt has disrespected its association agreement with the EU according to which
respect for human rights and democratic principles is an essential element. He further
added that Egypt also disrespected the EU-Egypt Action Plan agreement to cooperate
on strengthening the participation of Egyptians in political life, including participation
in elections.

The statement also called on the Union to take a strong position on the parliamentary
elections arguing that many rulings issued by the High Elections Commission had not
been enforced.
The EU ended its statement noting that it will continue to call on the Egyptian
government to allow domestic and international monitors to oversee future elections,
highlighting that it is prepared to offer assistance in that regard.

Related, Megan Mattson, spokesperson for the US State Department commented on
the polls, stressing that the necessary investigations should be made by the Egyptian
government to correct the alleged violations. She asserted that this was imperative if
Egypt wanted its electoral process to be regarded as credible. Mattson also expressed
concern over the regime’s media restrictions as well and the arrests of opposition
activists.

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