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Sunday, April 10, 2005

EOHR first annual report

The Egyptian Organisation for Human Rights released its first annual report, which is regarded as tougher than expected for a council set up and financed by the government

The report observed that torture by Egyption police was commonplace, and that members of Islamist groups have been detained without charge, and detained after they complete their sentences. The report recommends the end of Emergency Law, which has been in place since 1981, and "[provides] the State a kind of immunity towards violating human rights and marginalizing the constitution and law, in addition to suspending the Egyptian Government's international commitments as ratified in international covenants and declarations concerning human rights".

The Egyptian Government's justification for extending the state of emergency is mainly based on the necessity to fight terrorism. EOHR has confirmed that no armed actions have been monitored since the Luxor Massacre in 1997. Furthermore, the use of the events of 11 September to give an impression that terrorist attacks might extend to Egypt is not politically or legally justified. By selecting justifications for continuing the state of emergency and in the absence of the necessary supervision of its implementation, we are left with its negative effects on the status and future of democracy and human rights in Egypt.


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