CAIRO: Recent verdicts against activists violate the right to a fair trial, and restrict freedoms in an “unprecedented crackdown against opposition,” said the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies in Geneva June 16 and 18 at a session of the United Nations Human Rights Council.
According to a CIHR press statement, its first intervention, presented on behalf of the Forum for Independent Egyptian Human Rights NGOs, cited the case of journalists and activists sentenced to prison for terms of 15 and 25 years, as well as the two-year sentence of human rights activist Mahienour al-Masry.
CIHRS’s second oral intervention commented on the report of the U.N. special rapporteur on freedom expression with respect to guarantees of freedom of expression in elections. CIHRS praised the report and highlighted the importance of freedom of expression as a basic guarantee for free elections.
“Ballots alone do not make democracy, but the real democracy is achieved when all rights are respected so that individuals can practice their political and civil rights,” read the press release.
Amnesty International said in a June 4 release that the Egyptian authorities’ decision to practice surveillance of social media was a major hit to freedom of expression.
“The plans of Egyptian Authorities to monitor social media just a few months after adopting a constitution that guarantees the right to privacy reflects the low respect towards human rights and the law,” Hasiba Hajj Sahrawi, Middle East and North Africa Deputy Director for Amnesty International said.
The United Nations sessions began June 10 and will continue until June 27.