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Egypt 'regrets' UN criticism of its human rights conditions

A person walks by the mural created by the artist Laika a few metres from the Rectorate of the University of Bologna, to ask for Patrick Zaki's release a few days before the trial on October 05, 2020 in Bologna, Italy. [Michele Lapini/Getty Images]
A person walks by the mural created by the artist Laika a few metres from the Rectorate of the University of Bologna, to ask for Patrick Zaki's release a few days before the trial on October 05, 2020 in Bologna, Italy. [Michele Lapini/Getty Images]

Egypt has announced that it regrets the issuance of the joint declaration criticising the human rights situation in Egypt during the 46th Session of the UN Human Rights Council.

Egypt's Permanent Mission to the UN has stated that it "regrets" "the crude politicisation and "unjustified escalation" in the United Nations Human Rights Council.

According to the Egyptian delegation, some countries believe they: "Have the right to evaluate others and use the UN Council as a cover to conceal their ongoing violations of human rights," accusing a number of them of racism, confiscation of refugees' property and using violence to suppress demonstrations.

In the declaration signed by 31 member states, primarily Western countries, governments expressed "deep concern" for widespread human rights violations committed with impunity by the Egyptian authorities.

Read: Egypt jails female activist who called to free prisoners amid pandemic

The member states' governments called on Egypt to end the prosecution of activists, journalists and perceived political opponents under counter-terrorism laws and unconditionally release them.

"We urge Egypt to guarantee space for civil society – including human rights defenders – to work without fear of intimidation, harassment, arrest, detention or any other form of reprisal," Finland's Ambassador Kirsti Kauppi expressed, reading out the statement to the Geneva forum.

"That includes lifting travel bans and asset freezes against human rights defenders – including EIPR staff," Kauppi said, referring to three activists from the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights arrested last November after briefing senior diplomats in Cairo.

Opinion: The UN has exposed the failures of the state in terms of human rights in Egypt

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