CAIRO: Human Rights Watch has been accused of incitement and “supporting terrorism” by a number of Egyptian politicians, after a statement by the organization that Egypt had made “no progress” on democratic reforms.
In a letter addressed to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry Friday, HRW cited Egypt’s “extreme political repression,” noting the recent mass death sentence by a Minya court of 529 persons affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood. The organization urged Kerry to review Egypt’s progress; the U.S. announced in January that the delivery of its military assistance to Egypt would be dependent upon “meaningful steps” towards democratic reform.
Abdel Ghaffar Shokr, the deputy head of the National Council for Human Rights told Youm7 that HRW’s letter was a request for the halt of military aid, and was “in favor of terrorism.”
Shokr clarified that the role of human rights organizations is to observe and document human rights violations. The NCHR also announced in March its concern for the mass death sentence.
Executive Director of Ibn Khaldun Center for Development Studies Dalia Zeyada said HRW “talks only about terrorists’ rights” since June 30 and “ignores dozens of their innocent civilian victims.”
According to the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, between July 3, 2013 and January 31, 2014, 3,143 Egyptians died as a result of political violence: 2,588 of those deaths occurred during protests, 281 deaths were from terrorism, and 274 deaths from other causes.
Additional reporting by Abdel Latif Sobh and Ahmed Arafa.