Amnesty International wants “immediate action” on Egypt

Amnesty International has written to the 25th session of the UN Human Rights Council requesting “immediate action” on widespread and severe abuses of human rights in Egypt.

In a new report (14 February 2014) Amnesty says: “State institutions [in Egypt] meant to provide protection against human rights violations and remedies have now become tools of oppression. Repressive legislation restricts the rights to freedoms of expression, association and assembly.

“The security forces commit gross human rights violations, using excessive force to disperse mostly peaceful protests, and arresting government opponents, activists, journalists and NGO workers.

Impunity for human rights violations in Egypt is the rule, says Amnesty: “investigations have failed to bring any senior official or security officers to justice for their roles in deliberately killing or injuring protesters. The authorities have suppressed the findings of the fact-finding bodies appointed to investigate human rights violations.”

Egyptian authorities have meanwhile restricted freedom of expression: “Journalists and media workers who have reported on abuses or criticized the authorities have faced harassment, arrest and trial on accusations of spreading false rumours and belonging to banned terrorist groups.” At the same time, women and Coptic Christians have faced a rising tide of violence and discrimination.

In an outspoken report, Amnesty proposes that the UN Human Rights Council should call on Egypt to facilitate UN special procedures, including visits by the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention; the Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman, degrading treatment or punishment; and the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions.

The full report is available online here.