The UPR is a unique process which involves a review of the human rights records of all UN Member States. The states under review receive recommendations from the Working Group, which comprises of the 47-member Human Rights Council.
From 27 October to 7 November, 14 States are scheduled to have their human rights records examined under this mechanism.
It has been four years since Egypt’s last review. In that time the country has seen drastic political change. A popular protest led revolution toppled former President Hosni Mubarak’s dictatorship, resulting in the first democratically elected leader in Egypt’s history, Mohamed Morsi. A violent military coup then unseated his government.
During the review, most countries commended the efforts of Egypt towards improving the position of women in political, economic and social areas.
While many expressed an understanding of the difficulties faced by Egypt in regards to its security concerns, some states, including Brazil, Spain and the Republic of Korea, stated that anti-terrorism efforts should be in line with international standards of human rights.
A number of countries including France, Switzerland and Hungary called on Egypt to issue a moratorium on the death sentence, with a view to abolishing the death penalty. Egyptian courts have handed out mass death sentences, often targeting supporters of Morsi.
States also urged Egypt to ratify the optional protocol of the Convention against Torture. Costa Rica and Denmark were among those who expressed concern regarding reports of the use of torture by Egypt’s security forces.
A very limited number of states brought up the mass killing of protestors, during which Egyptian police and army opened fire on crowds of demonstrators opposed to the military’s ousting of Morsi. Iceland was one of the only countries to do so.