FIDH International Board Resolution on the Situation in Egypt

On the occasion of its International Board meeting in Paris on 27th-29th June 2014, FIDH expresses its utmost concern at the human rights situation in Egypt where violations of fundamental human rights such as freedom of expression, information, assembly, association, as well as the right to life, physical integrity, and fair trial continue to be violated systematically.

FIDH strongly condemns the recommended and confirmed by Egyptian courts, and the recent . Moreover, the recent recommendations and confirmation of death sentences were also a result of systematic unfair trials that are marred by irregularities and violations of due process.

FIDH strongly condemns the ongoing crackdown against human rights defenders and human rights organizations. Egyptian police have raided the Egyptian Center for Social and Economic Rights twice in December 2013 and May 2014, as well as confiscated publications of the Arab Human Rights Information Network and detained an employee. Human rights defenders such as Yara Sallam, Sanaa Seif, Mahinour Al-Massry, and Alaa Abdel Fattah, remain arbitrary detained under auspices of the repressive assembly law. Since the adoption of this law, the Egyptian authorities have violently repressed all peaceful protests and conducted waves of arbitrary arrests. Egyptian courts have delivered harsh sentences against peaceful activists including 15 years imprisonment for peaceful protest.

FIDH is highly concerned about the collapsed environment of freedom of expression and information where journalists in particular are targeted by the authorities, arbitrarily detained, and given heavy imprisonment sentences solely for exercising their work.

FIDH condemns the mass sexual assaults and rape against women in Tahrir. These attacks have formed a systematic pattern that the authorities have failed to prevent, and punish. While the authorities adopted amendments to the penal code on sexual harassment, FIDH reiterates that such limited reforms cannot tackle the epidemic of sexual violence in Egypt.

FIDH notes the authorities’ announcement of establishing a committee to combat violence against women and accordingly calls upon the committee to clearly define and publicize its mandate and ensure the inclusion of civil society organizations in its work.

FIDH recalls that impunity for gross human rights violations has continued as the authorities have failed to hold police and army officers and other officials accountable for the repeated use of excessive and lethal force since January 2011. Despite the formation of three official fact-finding commissions, the reports are yet to be made public and prosecutions based on evidence gathered by the committees have yet to occur.

In light of the recent attacks against the civilian population and public services in Egypt, FIDH urges the authorities to uphold international human rights standards in its security measures and anti-terrorism apparatus.

Accordingly, FIDH urges the Egyptian authorities to:

  • Immediately drop charges against and release all those detained solely for the exercise of their rights to free expression, association, and assembly, including national and international media personnel arrested in the context of performing their duties as journalists, as well as human rights defenders;
  • Immediately end to the politicization of the judiciary and its misuse in settling accounts with peaceful political opponents and human rights defenders;
  • Impose an immediate moratorium on the death sentence and execution and abolish the death penalty for all crimes;
  • Immediately amend the assembly law to bring it in line with international standards, guaranteeing the right to peaceful assembly;
  • Adopt national strategies for combating violence against women and eliminating all forms of discrimination against women, ensuring the effective consultation and involvement of women’s rights groups and other civil society organizations throughout the process;
  • Ensure accountability for grave human rights violations, and publish all the reports of the official fact-finding commissions.