Ambassador Moushira Khattab, President of the National Council for Human Rights (NCHR), received Christopher Le Mon, Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor at the U.S. Department of State, who is currently visiting Egypt. The meeting was also attended by Ambassador Mahmoud Karem, Vice-President of NCHR, Mohamed Anwar El-Sadat and Ezzat Ibrahim, NCHR members.
The US senior official highlighted to the desire to discuss the NCHR’s vision on the way to move forward in the implementation of the national human rights strategy, areas of priority and the new role of the NCHR following its reconstitution.
During the meeting, the NCHR President stressed that the council’s plan of action includes boosting cooperation with civil society institutions and building of capacities of its employees.
Ambassador Khattab emphasized that the launch of the national human rights strategy has raised the bar of expectations and underscores the Egyptian State’s commitment to strengthen the principles of accountability. Moreover, she added that the national strategy added to the country’s commitments by adhering to implement the strategy’s components in the near future.
She also stated that following the launch of the strategy, President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi has decided not to extend the state of emergency in the country, which is a promising step that boosts respect for human rights. She pointed out the cabinet’s response to NCHR’s calls for a one-year extension for non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to legalise their status in the country.
For his part, Christopher Le Mon addressed a number of human rights challenges in Egypt, most notably free of expression and media, pre-trial detention, torture allegations in police stations and prisons as well as a number of concerns relating to placing constraints on NGOs.
On the other hand, the Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor at the U.S. Department of State recognized the serious steps taken by Egypt in the promotion of social and economic rights noting that the launch of the national human rights strategy underscores the Egyptian authorities’ willingness to address challenges.