Oral statement Egypt UPR outcome
On 12 March 2020, Lawyers for Lawyers, the International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute, The Law Society of England and Wales (“Law Society”), and the Tahrir Institute for Middle East Policy (TIMEP) delivered an oral statement during the 43rd Session of the UN Human Rights Council. During this session, the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) Outcome Report of Egypt was adopted. Lawyers for Lawyers had already submitted a NGO-submission for the UPR-session of Egypt.
The statement reads as follows:
We welcome the decision of Egypt to accept some of the recommendations related to the protection of human rights defenders and lawyers, made at its 3rd UPR. We call on Egypt to effectively implement these recommendations without delay.
In countries where lawyers and human rights defenders are imprisoned for defending rights and where judicial independence is lacking, there is no access to justice or rule of law.
In Egypt, lawyers and human rights defenders are being disappeared, arrested and prosecuted, harassed and threatened. Their legitimate work is being criminalised through application of the Penal Code, Counter-terrorism Law, NGO Law, and other laws.
Since September 2019, and amid widespread arrests in the wake of anti-government protests, at least 20 lawyers have been arrested and detained.
An increase in prolonged pre-trial detention, the use of mass trials, and the application of the death penalty continue; constitutional amendments interfering with judicial and prosecutorial independence entrench these phenomena even further.
We urge Council to:
1. Insist on the immediate release by Egypt of all lawyers and human rights defenders who are being prosecuted for doing their work.
2. Monitor the application – and call for the amendment – of the NGO Law, Counterterrorism Law, Penal Code, and other laws that violate rights to freedom of expression, association, and assembly.
3. Monitor the application – and call for the repeal – of constitutional provisions interfering with judicial and prosecutorial independence.
Thank you, Mr. President.
The full statement can be read here.
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