Dozens of European Union parliamentarians signed a statement, calling on their governments and the United Nations to establish a mechanism to monitor the human rights situation in Egypt.
175 European MPs signed the joint statement on February 3, urging resolute action to this end at the next session of the UN Human Rights Council, which will be held from February 28 to April 1.
“We are extremely concerned about the international community’s persistent failure to take any meaningful action to address Egypt’s human rights crisis,” read the statement signed by 175 parliamentarians from the EU bloc and the UK.
“This failure, along with continued support to the Egyptian government and reluctance to even speak up against pervasive abuses has only deepened the Egyptian authorities’ sense of impunity,” it added.
The statement shed light on thousands of arbitrarily detained detainees in Egyptian prisons, including dozens of human rights defenders, journalists, lawyers, peaceful activists and opposition politicians, such as Ibrahim Metwally Hegazy, Ziad El Alimi, Ibrahim Ezz El-Din, Haitham Mohamedin, Hoda Abdel Moneim, Abdel Nasser Salama and Abdel Moneim Aboul Fotouh, Muhammad al-Baqir and others.
Maria Arena, head of the Subcommittee on Human Rights in the European Parliament and one of the signatories to the statement, stated that “the letter we signed comes one year after the issuance of the United Nations joint statement on human rights in Egypt”, in Referring to the statement issued last March at the United Nations Human Rights Council and signed by most Western countries, in addition to Canada and Australia, as well as the United States.
The statement urged Cairo to stop resorting to anti-terrorism laws to silence opponents, human rights defenders and journalists, and hold critics in pretrial detention indefinitely, but the Egyptian Foreign Ministry strongly rejected it, describing it as an unfounded statement.
“The statement confirms that there is great concern about what is happening in Egypt of a widespread and systematic violation of the basic rights of citizens, as the Egyptian authorities continue to practice various forms of repression,” Maria Arena said.
We stress the need to end all kinds of violations, such as indefinite pretrial detention and serving sentences following grossly unfair trials before military courts and emergency courts whose rulings are not subject to appeal. Those released are subjected to extrajudicial, arbitrary measures at the hands of National Security Agency officers to suppress any human rights or human rights activity.
We commend the European Parliamentarians for their steps that could bring change to the policy of the Egyptian authorities, especially that the European Union is one of the main supporters of the Arab Republic of Egypt.