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Amnesty: Egypt’s human rights strategy paints misleading picture of human rights

September 21, 2022 at 1:16 pm

Image of an Amnesty International rally, 28 July 2017 [Richard Potts/Flickr]

A year since the Egyptian government’s National Human Rights Strategy was launched, Amnesty International has said it paints a deeply misleading picture of the human rights situation in the country.

On 11 September 2021 Egyptian authorities launched the NHRS which they said would review the death penalty and combat torture.

Egypt issued the highest number of death sentences worldwide in 2021, with the UN March calling on Egypt to introduce a moratorium on the death penalty.

In a joint submission by rights groups to the UN, several NGOs have said that in Egypt, systematic torture is a state policy.

However, rather than making gains and ending these violations, human rights groups say the strategy shows the lack of political will by Egypt to reform and is an attempt simply at deflecting criticism from grave human rights abuses.

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“The international community must not be deceived and pressure the Egyptian authorities to take meaningful steps to end the cycle of abuse and impunity,” Amnesty said in its report.

Among other well-documented human rights violations committed in Egypt are mass arbitrary detentions, discrimination against women and girls and severe repression of peaceful assembly.

However, Egyptian authorities have completely denied that these violations are taking place and are instead investing in public relations exercises to improve the country’s human rights image including through its most “illustrative” example, the NHRS.

Al-Sisi himself has said: “The National Strategy for Human Rights launched on 11 September was the best proof that Egypt is protecting and enforcing human rights.”

Amnesty has said that the strategy is “deeply misleading” and at times “a false picture” of the human rights situation in Egypt.

“It completely overlooks patterns of ongoing or past human rights violations and fails to acknowledge the role of security forces and other state actors, including prosecutors and judges, in ordering, instigating or committing violations or in aiding, abetting or otherwise facilitating their commission or to call for an end to impunity.”