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UN: Egypt 'facilitates radicalisation'

Image of Egyptian police confronting protesters on 17 December 2011 [Alisdare Hickson/Flickr]
Egyptian police can be seen confronting protesters [Alisdare Hickson/Flickr]

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al-Hussein said yesterday that heavy-handed security measures by Egypt foster radicalisation rather than curb it, Reuters reported.

Read: Egypt prisons 300% over capacity

"A state of emergency, the massive numbers of detentions, reports of torture, and continued arbitrary arrests – all of this we believe facilitates radicalisation in prisons," said Al-Hussein, adding that the crackdown on civil society was not the way to fight terror.

National security yes, must be a priority for every country, but again not at the expense of human rights.

Egypt's Foreign Ministry spokesman Ahmed Abu Zeid has said that Al-Hussein's comments are an irresponsible and unbalanced reading of the situation in Egypt – a society that is targeted by terrorist operations – and suggested that the commissioner was biased.

"We don't see the High Commissioner criticising other states implementing states of emergency that are dealing with similar conditions," said Abu Zeid.

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