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Al-Sisi ‘presided over a state of impunity’: HRW - Daily News Egypt

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Al-Sisi ‘presided over a state of impunity’: HRW

National Council for Human Rights official denies watchdog’s allegation that human rights are in a sharp decline in Egypt


The minister of interior said in a Monday conference that police forces only use tear gas in dispersing protests. Photo shows riot police personnel in armoured vehicles in Ramsis Street using a birdshot gun on 25 January 2015 (DNE photo)
 Photo shows riot police personnel in armoured vehicles in Ramsis Street using a birdshot gun on 25 January 2015 (DNE photo)

Egypt’s current human rights crisis is the “most serious in the country’s history”, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said in its 2015 World Report on Thursday.

In the 656 page report, HRW revises the state of human rights practices in more than 90 countries.

The report also stated that President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi has overseen this reversal in human rights as he presides “over a state of impunity”, as security forces have got away with mass killings and the imprisonment of thousands of protesters.

Meanwhile, Hafez Abu Sa’da, a member of the state-backed National Council for Human Rights (NCHR), stated that the HRW report was “imbalanced,” and “lacked detail and objectivity, the state-owned Al-Ahram reported.

Since Al-Sisi – then defence minister – led the military overthrow of Mohamed Morsi, Egyptian authorities have detained over 41,000 people. According to HRW, about 29,000 of those jailed are members or supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Abu Sa’da also stated, the HRW’s reports on Egypt, Syria, and Iraq, weaken the international position of Arab states. Another “human rights lawyer” associated with the NCHR, Ahmed Zare’ stated that Egypt “must respond to the HRW accusations,” the state-owned Al-Ahram reported.

This mass detention campaign has “strained the country’s prisons,” HRW stated. This has also led to increasing negligence as well as torture and ill-treatment in police stations and in jails. According to the Justice Ministry’s Forensic Medical Authorities, it has even led to deaths in detention.

The report goes on to list the human rights decline in terms of freedom of association, expression, and assembly, declines in freedom of religion, heightening sectarian violence, with authorities prosecuting people for “blasphemy” and failing to intervene when church properties are attacked.

Violence and discrimination against women, especially in cases of sexual harassment in public space have been on the rise while there are no laws criminalising domestic violence. Authorities have also arrested more than 95 people whom they accuse of “practicing debauchery.” Activists also say that police “use fake online dating profiles to target gay men and others, including sex workers,” the report stated adding that this is a crackdown on lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people.

Judges and prosecutors act as “accessories in the clampdown” as, for example, a judge in the Minya governorate sentenced 220 defendants to death and 495 to life in prison and another Giza judge ordered death sentences to 188 people in December.

Other judges and prosecutors routinely authorize pretrial detention without evidence. In addition, authorities have sent over 820 civilians to military prosecution.

The state invokes “national security to muzzle nearly all dissent” and authorities have held no one accountable for the mass killing of over a thousand protesters during the dispersals of the Rabaa Al-Adaweya and Nahda sit-ins in August 2013, which HRW called “one of the worst mass killings of modern times and a likely crime against humanity.”

“Egypt is at a post-revolution nadir, and right now there’s no light at the end of the tunnel,” Sarah Leah Whitson, the HRW Middle East and North Africa director said.  “The situation for thousands of Egyptians is getting worse by the day.”

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  • Intellectualist

    What was the alternative? Maybe tranquilizer guns could have saved lives, but what then? Authoritarian oppression was required to clamp down on Sunni supremacists. They didn’t recognize anyone’s rights. Should Al Sisi have allowed them to kill everyone like the supremacists in Libya? Rights and freedoms are derived of laws. These are granted by legislators. An executive is not the authority. HRW is a joke for publishing criticism without answers. Where is their list of endorsed candidates? What do they contribute other than useless criticism? Productive input better come from this group before the world recognizes they stir conflict purely for the purpose of having things to complain about.

    • Samora

      Thank you for those Words!

      • Intellectualist

        You’re welcome.

  • twinkle

    HRW lie none stop. Egypt is not becoming oppressive nor are we cracking down on dissident none of what they are saying about us is true..
    Egypt of course has its human rights problem no doubt about this but it’s nothing in the way HRW portrays us and our authorities. On top of this Egypt is going through very difficult and complicated times so all this needs to be taken into consideration as well.
    We fully support Abdel Fattah El Sisi, our military, security and police forces in their fight against terrorism.

    • Intellectualist

      HRW is controlled by the Gulen Movement. Or should we just call it the unwanted fecal residue of the Gladio program?

  • Yonit Gefen

    Why single Egypt out as if human rights in Egypt were more serious that those in most other countries? The west has no understanding of the middle east and refuses to see that one cannot change until those who will never stop fighting against change are gone. The HRW has little to do with human rights. Rather it is used as an excuse to discredit a country. I hope that does not become the case in Egypt. I think not. You have a terrific leader

    • Improve it

      HRW talks about a lot of countries. There is no evidence that it obsesses over Egypt in particular. It is critical of nearly every Middle Eastern government, indeed, nearly all governments globally.
      Human rights and the rule of law are a route to safety and security. In their absence, no true security can really exist. Freedom and security must move in tandem.
      If a political leadership cannot be criticized ever, there is a problem. Criticism is an opportunity to improve, not something to be terrified of or suppress. Confident political leaders do not live in constant fear of it.

  • Al Masry

    it is all wrong. Dig a half mile wide canal along Gaza border fortified by bunkers and sink arm smugglers boats and subs to Gaza. the canal will seep water to underground tunnels and make it useless. How stupid people can be?

  • Guest

    Is George Soros behind a lot of this?

  • Join Hello Egypt The First egyptian Social Network http://helloegypt.souqhurghada.com/

  • Bittertruth

    Hell on earth. Unfortunately.

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