CAIRO: Speaker of the People’s Assembly (PA) reportedly threatened to sever ties with the European Parliament (EP) if the body decides to enact a draft resolution that criticizes human rights conditions in Egypt.
“The People’s Assembly will consider cutting ties with the European Parliament… as long as it continues to use the language of commands and condescension, PA Speaker Fathi Sorour told MENA news agency.
Sorour referred to the resolution, which is planned to be discussed on Thursday, as “harming the historic relationship between Egypt and Europe.
The EP’s proposal supposedly poses criticism towards the treatment of religious minorities in Egypt, alleged torture practices and weapons smuggling to Gaza.
Moreover, the resolution urges the immediate release of the jailed political dissident Ayman Nour, who ran for president against incumbent Hosni Mubarak in the 2005 elections and subsequently was jailed for fraud. Rights groups maintain his sentencing was politically motivated.
Mohamed Khalil Kwaitah, a National Democratic Party (NDP) MP, told Daily News Egypt that he “supports Sorour’s response 100 percent, adding that “we will never allow anyone to interfere in Egyptian politics, be it a political or parliamentary force.
“Things like this make us question the relationship between the Egyptian and European parliaments, continued Kwaitah.
“The human rights of Egyptian citizens are protected under the constitution. Before they [European Parliament] criticize human rights in Egypt, they should think of abuses in their own countries, said Kwaitah.
However, Muslim Brotherhood MP Hamdy Hassan emphasized that human rights violations constitute a “serious issue in Egypt.
“What used to be a practice merely targeting the political opposition has reached the average person on the street who could now become a victim of human rights violations, Hassan told Daily News Egypt.
Egypt has been subject to stark criticism from international rights groups for its “systematic human rights violations, including alleged torture practices and clampdowns on the country’s political opposition.