Egypt parliament mulls forming a delegation to address EP resolution
The Egyptian parliament. Youm7 archive.
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CAIRO: Members of Egypt’s Parliament are seeking to form a delegation to address the European Parliament after the latter’s recent resolution that slammed Egypt’s human rights record over the murder of the Italian student Giulio Regeni, Youm7 reported Saturday.

The to-be-formed Egyptian diplomatic delegation will include representatives of the National Council for Human Rights, foreign and interior ministries and lawmakers, MP Margret Azer told Youm7.

The Egyptian parliament held a meeting Friday and issued a statement rejecting “interference in Egypt’s internal affairs” under the pretext of human rights issues, which the parliament believes is becoming a “universal concern.”

Regarding Regeni’s murder, the statement said that it could happen to any citizen, Egyptian or foreigner, in Egypt or abroad, if the motives behind are “criminal.”

After a session on Thursday, the EP issued a resolution that has irritated Egyptian officials especially after it called for an arms embargo on Egypt citing human rights violations in the country.

The resolution stemmed from the under-investigation case of Regeni’s murder, whose body was found in the street early February, bearing signs of intense torture, including multiple cigarette burns and bruises.

EP’s resolution called on Egypt to assist Italian investigators looking into Regeni’s murder.

MP Alaa Abdel Moneim said that concerned agencies in Egypt are to be blamed for not clarifying Regeni’s case for the EP before the resolution. “The Ministry of Foreign Affairs took no action before EP’s meeting and waited until [they convicted Egypt with the murder],” Abdel Moneim was quoted by Youm7.

Youm7 also quoted MP Diaa Dawood as saying that the resolution includes “inaccuracies” and prejudges the ongoing investigations, in reiteration to Egypt’s Foreign Ministry’s Friday statement.

Former Secretary-General of the Arab League Amr Moussa said the resolution “should be dealt with very seriously,” Youm7 reported.

FM Spokesperson Ahmed Abou Zeid said Friday that the resolution is “unfair and runs contrary” to the situation in Egypt, describing a resolution on human rights in Egypt among discussions of Regeni’s murder as sending “unacceptable overtones.”

While attending Regeni’s funeral services in Italy, Egypt’s Tourism Minister said the murder is “inhumane” and does not reflect the Egyptian character.

In its session, the EP noted that Regeni’s case “is not an isolated incident,” pointing to increasing cases of enforced disappearance in Egypt, in a draft resolution considered by the body.

The resolution also expressed deep concern about the imminent threat to forced closure of the El-Nadeem Center for the Management and Rehabilitation of Victims of Violence and Torture, calling for “swift withdrawal of the order.”

MP Mostafa Bakry submitted a memo to the Parliament Speaker Ali Abdel Aal asking for holding a special session to respond to the EP’s resolution and its decisions.

 

This article was updated to include a statement by the Egyptian Parliament commenting on the European Parliament’s resolution. 

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