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53 nations pledge support for Egypt’s ‘war against terrorism’

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New UNHRC statement runs counter to western human rights concerns

Permanent Saudi Representative to the UN Faisal Trad (Photo from Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs)

Permanent Saudi Representative to the UN Faisal Trad
(Photo from Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs)

Fifty-three nations in the United Nations Human Right Council (UNHRC) signed a statement for support of Egypt’s “war against terrorism, strengthening of democracy, and its rejection of any foreign interference in its internal affairs”.

Spearheaded by Saudi Arabia, Permanent Saudi Representative to the UN Faisal Trad pledged “support of the political process in Egypt following the popular and historic 25 January Revolution and the correction of the path, which began with the Revolution of 30 June, which was based on the will of the immense popularity,” reported official Saudi state news SPA.

“Egypt is facing, according to various criteria, the challenge of terrorism.  The same terrorism that the international community agreed in the past decade to confront collectively through the United Nations Action to Counter Global Terrorism,” said the statement.

Egyptian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Badr Abdelatty said that signatories include nations across the Middle East and countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America.

The statement emphasised the that the 2014 reinforced “the civilian character of the state, respect for human dignity and human rights, particularly with regard to the right to freedom of opinion and expression, freedom of religion and belief, equality between men and women in various areas of public life, empower youth and persons with disabilities, and to stand firmly against discrimination.”

Earlier this month, 27 countries in the UNHRC, including the US and many from Western Europe, signed a statement read by the Icelandic delegation aimed to “reiterate their common concern” about human rights violations.

“The statement also reflects a broad consensus that restrictions to peaceful assembly, association, and expression run counter to Egypt’s pursuit of stability and democracy, and that a free press is an essential pillar of any democratic society,” said US State Department Spokeswoman Jen Psaki.

“It further expresses our concern about the disproportionate use of lethal force by security forces against demonstrators, noting that even when faced with persistent security challenges, security forces have a duty to respect and observe Egypt’s international human rights obligations and commitments.”

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