Leadership Council for Human Rights

~ Feet in the mud, head in the sky ~

Friday, October 05, 2007

Council of Europe takes on human rights in Egypt

The Council of Europe has released a statement concerning the deteriorating human rights situation in Egypt. The statement, which appears below, specifically addresses the case of Amr Tharwat, a researcher at Cairo’s Ibn Khaldun Center for Development Studies (ICDS) who was arrested in May on dubious charges.

The Council is concerned by the deterioration of the human rights situation in Egypt.

The relevant Council bodies as well as the Heads of Mission in Cairo have discussed this worrying situation and are coordinating their further action, in the course of which the Tharwat case could also be addressed.

Egypt should be urged to comply with its international commitments on human rights and fundamental freedoms, not least also in the light of its recent election to the UN Human Rights Council and its expressed willingness to uphold the highest standards in the promotion and protection of human rights.

A formal dialogue on human rights and democracy issues is envisaged under the Association Agreement and the ENP Action Plan through the relevant sub-committee whose first meeting is scheduled in November 2007. In its terms of reference, it is mentioned that the “sub-committee aims to facilitate dialogue, within a context of mutual understanding and respect for the positions of both parties, on all aspects of human rights and democracy, international and regional issues, in a comprehensive and non-exclusive way.”

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