Egypt reviewed by the UPR
Thursday, 18 February 2010 11:00


On the morning of February 16, 2010 the Working Group of the UPR reviewed the human rights situation in Egypt. Egypt brought a large delegation, chaired by Mr Mufid Shihab, Minister of State for Legal and Parliamentary Councils, and including many high-level government officials. In his opening statements, Mr Shihab emphasised progress on the right to health, education and women's rights,described Egypt's security challenges and noted Egypt's efforts to strengthen legal protection for civil liberties.

The beginning of the speaker's list was dominated by fellow Islamic States, but overall States from all regions took part in the review. Critical comments and recommendations focused on:

  • Encouraging Egypt to issue a standing invitation to UN special procedures.
  • Women's rights and violence against women. States recommended that Egypt remove reservations to articles 2 and 16 of the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women, adopt specific legislation on domestic violence and violence against women, and develop a comprehensive strategy on implementing the ban on female genital mutilation.
  • Encouraging Egypt to lift its state of emergency and replace it with a comprehensive anti-terrorism law.
  • Limitations on freedom of expression including the imprisonment of journalists.

  • Reported incidents of torture. States recommended that Egypt sign the optional protocol to the Convention Against Torture (CAT), and reform domestic law, particularly articles 126 and 129 of the Egyptian Penal Code, to ensure compliance with CAT.
  • Concern about the number of executions and arbitrary detention. States encouraged Egypt to establish a moratorium on the death penalty.
  • Concern about incidents of religious discrimination, particularly attacks on the Coptic community.
  • The achievement of free and fair elections, and establishment of an independent election commission.
  • Increased rates of human trafficking.
Egypt responded three times during the session. In its opening comments the delegation emphasised an openness to and interest in the UPR process, yet Egypt was defensive and uncooperative in response to challenges on its civil and political rights record, particularly regarding the state of emergency. In conclusion, Mr Sihab stated that Egypt would carefully consider every recommendation.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 04 May 2010 10:06
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