vendredi, 18 octobre 2019

Egypte : Authorities urged to stop harassing activists calling for transparency in elections

SOURCE : Arabic Network for Human Rights Information, Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies

(ANHRI/CIHRS/IFEX) - The Forum of Independent Human Rights Organizations expresses its strong condemnation of the suppression, prosecution and terrorisation of political activists who have called for guarantees of transparency and integrity in the parliamentary and presidential elections, and stress the need for constitutional amendments that provide competitive and free presidential elections.

The Forum has been monitoring the authorities’ response to the peaceful march for cars in Alexandria and the repeated arrests, humiliation, physical assaults and verbal abuse of the participants in the peaceful protest calling for political and democratic reform. As well as, the Forum has been monitoring the general prosecutor’s investigation into the complaints filed against public figures who criticised the government and the National Democratic Party (NDP), or one of its potential candidates for presidency. In contrast, the Forum notes that several decades’ worth of complaints currently sitting in the general prosecutor’s office have not been investigated.

Accordingly, the undersigned organisations warn of the consequences of restricting access to the peaceful expression of ideas and denying political opponents’ demands, while supporters of the ruling party and one of its candidates for presidency are permitted to launch elections campaigns freely.

The Forum stresses that double standards, use of the emergency law and an arsenal of other laws that restrict freedoms in face of the political opposition groups, cast serious consequences on the future of the political process in Egypt at this crucial turning point.

Accordingly, the Forum calls on state agencies to put an end to the policies, practices of terrorism and the continued harassment of political activists under the emergency law, and demands that they respect safeguards aimed at protecting the right to freedom of expression, the right of assembly and association, and demonstrate full commitment to the principle of neutrality toward all candidates.

The Forum reminds officials in all the state agencies that they should not be aligned to individuals or a particular party, and they are obliged under the law to be neutral, especially during the electoral process and the lead up to this time. As well, breach of neutrality threatens to undermine the political and legal legitimacy of such elections and the election’s official results.

For more information : Arabic Network for Human Rights Information 10 Elwy Street Apartment 5 Behind the Central Bank Downtown Cairo, Egypt info (@) Phone : +20 239 64058 Fax : +20 239 64058

Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies PO Box 117 (Maglis El-Shaab) Street address : 21 Abd El-Megid El-Remaly St., 7th Floor, Flat no. 71, Bab El Louk Cairo Egypt info (@) Phone : +202 2 795 1112/+202 27963757 Fax : +202 2 792 1913

Non-IFEX signatories :

Hisham Mubarak Law Center The Association for Human Rights Legal Aid Land Center for Human Rights Nadeem Center for Psychological Rehabilitation of Victims of Violence and Torture The Egyptian Center for Economic and Social Rights Association for Freedom of Thought and Expression Andalus Institute for Tolerance and Anti-Violence Studies Human Rights Association for the Assistance of Prisoners Arab Penal Reform Organization

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