Egypt denounces ‘false conclusions’ on arrest of human rights activists, attempts to impact investigations

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Sat, 21 Nov 2020 - 06:58 GMT

Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs headquarters - file photo

Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs headquarters - file photo

CAIRO – 21 November 2020: The Foreign Ministry on Saturday condemned the “false conclusions” circulated on media around the arrest of some officials at the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR), an organization that promotes human rights in Egypt.

 

The ministry reiterates rejection of any attempt to influence the investigations carried out by the Egyptian Public Prosecution with Egyptian citizens who face legal charges, the ministry spokesman Ahmed Hafez said.

 

“The Egyptian state respects the two principles of the rule of law and the equality before the law,” Hafez said.

 

“The freedom of the civil society work is granted in Egypt as per the Egyptian constitution and law,” Hafez said, adding that work in any of the fields, however “must be regulated by the relevant applied law and violators must be held accountable”.

 

Hafez affirmed that nobody is above the law and affirmed the need to stick to the principles of the national sovereignty and the non-interference in the internal affairs of the country, which are stipulated by the international law.

 

Condemning France’s remarks

 

The Egyptian Foreign Ministry expressed rejection of an official French statement “interfering in the country’s domestic affairs,” as it commented on the arrest of an Egyptian human rights group official.

 

A statement published by the French Foreign Ministry on November 17, expressed “deep concern over the arrest of Mohamed Bashir, executive director of the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR), an organization that promotes human rights in Egypt.”

 

“France maintains a frank, exacting dialogue with Egypt on human rights issues, including individual cases. It intends to continue this dialogue and, beyond that, its commitment to protecting human rights defenders throughout the world.”

 

The Egyptian Foreign Ministry said France’s statement seeks to influence investigations carried out by the Egyptian General Prosecution with a citizen who faces legal charges before the Egyptian judiciary.

 

The ministry affirmed Egypt’s adherence to non-interference in or commenting on the legal procedures taken by law enforcement authorities in other countries, including France.

 

Egypt’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Ahmed Hafez said the French statement failed to respect the Egyptian laws and defended an entity that works illegally in the civil society realm.

 

Hafez affirmed that the Egyptian state respects the principles of the sovereignty of law and legal equality, adding that no one is above the law.

 

The arrested official faces charges of joining a terrorist group and committing a terrorism finance related crime.

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