UN statement on human rights not balanced or accurate: Foreign ministry

Joel Gulhane
2 Min Read

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs believes a statement signed by 27 United Nations members on the human rights and freedoms situation in Egypt “displays a degree of imbalance and inaccuracy.”

The statement, signed on Friday by nations including Denmark, Japan, Turkey, the United States, United Kingdom and several other European nations, deplored “the restrictions on the rights to peaceful assembly, expression and association, and about the disproportionate use of lethal force by security forces against demonstrators”.

Spokeswoman for the US State Department Jen Psaki reiterated these concerns in Friday’s daily briefing for the press in Washington D.C.

Foreign ministry spokesman Badr Abdelatty in a Saturday statement acknowledged the positive aspects raised by the 27 nations such as the condemnation of violence and praise for the establishment of a fact-finding committee to investigate the violence since the ouster of former president Mohamed Morsi last year.

In response to the criticism regarding excessive use of force, Abdelatty said the comments “differ from reality.” He added that there are specific instructions from government for the security forces to act “with the utmost restraint and in accordance with the law”.

“There are no arbitrary arrests, but any made are the practical implementation of arrest warrants issued by the public prosecution,” Abdelatty insisted, also stressing the “independence and integrity of the Egyptian judiciary.”

The joint statement comes a week after the issuance of the US State Department’s annual human rights report, which was largely critical of the status of freedoms in Egypt. In response, the Egyptian ministry accused the US of hypocrisy, bias and applying double standards.

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Joel Gulhane is a journalist with an interest in Egyptian and regional politics. Follow him on Twitter @jgulhane
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