CAIRO: The National Council for Human Rights (NCHR) released Sunday a report on human rights in Egypt since July 2013, saying that “terrorism-related” crimes against the army, police and civilians have “unprecedentedly increased.”
Covering the period from July 2013 to December 2014, the NCHR report said that some 2,600 people were killed in “terrorist attacks” and at the “armed” gathering of the Muslim Brotherhood group in Rabaa al-Adaweya square.
The figures includes “700 police and army personnel, 550 civilians who were killed in violent acts by pro-Brotherhood militias and 1,250 Brotherhood members and supporters,” said Mohamed Fayek, head of the NCHR, in a Sunday conference.
Fayek also called for a “swift solution” for overcrowded detention places that led to the death of dozens of inmates. The Interior Ministry announced that 36 detainees died at prisons, while several human rights groups said 80 to 98 prisoners died, according to Fayek.
“There is no proof that these [detainees] died of torture; however, there is also no proof to the contrary,” he added. The council recommended legislative amendments to the Penal Code in accordance with the UN agreement to combat torture.
It also recommended issuing new laws; a civil society law, law on churches construction and restoration, and amendments to the existing 2013 protest law.
The council also called for “limited” pre-trial detention, as some suspects are acquitted eventually after spending up to two years in jail. The report quoted the Interior Ministry’s statistics on on-remand detainees as around 7000, including 300 political activists who were arrested for violating the Protest Law.
“Egypt is witnessing the most severe stage, which requires discussing human rights violations without being isolated from the circumstances through which they occurred,” said NCHR member Nasser Amin. He added that the council calls on the state to make the recent referrals of civilians to military courts, per a new decree, last “for a limited period.”
On the sidelines of the conference, Amin added that “the government has to respect human rights principles while combating terrorism.” In this regard, the report called on the state to “put a timeline for its plan on combating terrorism and transparency in informing the public with results.”
Regarding economic and social rights, the report spotted the recent partial reduction on fuel subsidies, “which led to negative repercussions on prices of basic goods and services.”
On the other hand, the report documented positive aspects during the 17 months, including the 2014 constitution which “boosted freedoms and protection of rights,” fair elections and referendums, legislations punishing violence against women and the distribution of Hepatitis C drug Sovaldi.
The report also paid attention to other human rights fields regarding women, children, health, education, work, people with special needs and refugees.