The National Council for Human Rights (NCHR) participated with a high-level delegation in the meetings of the 137th session of the Human Rights Committee in Geneva, Switzerland, which discusses the cases of Egypt, Panama, Peru, Sri Lanka, Turkmenistan and Zambia regarding their implementation of the provisions of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
Ambassador Moushira Khattab, NCHR president, presented the evaluation of NCHR for the report submitted by the Standing Committee on Human Rights and the state of civil and political rights in Egypt during the period from November 2020 to September 2022 before the members of the committee.
Ambassador Moushira Khattab confirmed that NCHR touched the existence of a political will to enhance the state of civil and political rights, by launching the National Strategy for Human Rights and reshaping the committee of the Presidential Pardon and working on the release of the prisoners and their reintegration and rehabilitating them, as well as the launching by the state a National Dialogue open to the entire spectrum of political currents, which constitutes a base on which can be built on to support the state of civil and political rights.
She added that the Egyptian state is dealing with concern with Human Rights issues, and this is evident in the formation of the new NCHR, which adheres to the Paris Principles, and in which women occupy a predominant percentage, as a woman heads for the first time NCHR since it was established, pointing to the interest of NCHR in receiving citizens' complaints n the field of Human Rights through the complaints system and that it touches the incresing interest of citizens in it, which is a sign of their confidence in the national mechanisms of human rights. It also pointed to the fruitful cooperation between the complaints system with the Presidential Pardon Committee, in addition to NCHR ten visits to the reform and rehabilitation centers within 10 months, which is an unprecedented percentage in the history of NCHR, as well as preparing NCHR a training guide to visit the detention centers based on the Nelson Mandela rules for treatment of inmates.
At the end of the Ambassador Moushira Khattab presentation of the report of NCHR, the members of the committee asked a number of questions that the chairman and a number of members participated in.
During his response to the questions of committee about the role of the NCHR, Ambassador Mahmoud Karem, Vice -President of the NCHR, pointed out that the National Strategy for Human Rights created a new reality and reflected the state’s pledge to provide the legal file a special priority, stressing the great role that NCHR monitors the human rights situation in Egypt and informs about it, stressing that reports of NCHR reflect the reality, as it plays a pivotal role in reviewing the legislation and its consistency with international human rights standards. He pointed out that NCHR monitors the implementation of the National Strategy and talks about right and wrong and open to cooperation with civil society organizations, pointing to the state's celebration of civil society and allocating a full year to take care of the issues of civil society.
Ambassador Karem said that NCHR was the first to form its recommendations for National Dialogue, as the complaints system of NCHR worked positively with the Presidential Pardon Committee, pointing out that matters in Egypt are developing quickly for the better, especially related to Human Rights issues, and stressed that Egypt respects the separation of powers, stressing independence The Judiciary and that there is no interference in the work of the judiciary, stressing that the openness of NCHR to cooperation with international partners and that it is doing its best to improve the conditions of Human Rights.
A number of members of NCHR responded to the committee's questions regarding the independence of the judiciary, stressing that the Egyptian judiciary has a well documented history, as it was established in the thirties of the last century and is independent and stable throughout history according to the ruling regimes and that the executive authority is not entitled to isolate the judiciary where the Judicial Authority law only allows referral to validity in the case the judge committed a crime that violates his neutrality or a crime against honor. With regard to the type of study obtained by judges and lawyers, both of them graduate from law colleges.
The members of NCHR explained that Egypt has 106 political parties, which is a very large number compared to major western countries with two or three parties, and that the 1977 political parties law was amended several times, the most important amendement of which is the establishment of procedures for establishing a party, as the number required to establish a party was established as o ly fifty Egyptian citizens, a small number compared to a population of 110 million people. It is only forbidden to establish parties that are based on military militias, obtaining financing from abroad or being a branch of a party in a foreign country.
Participarw in the discussion, were members of the delegation, Dr. Wafaa Benjamin, Professor Samira Luka, Professor Saeed Abdel Hafez, Professor Abdel -Gawad Ahmed, and Professor Mahmoud Bassiouni.