Egypt: ICJ high-level mission calls for the establishment of effective democratic institutions and accountability for human rights violations

COMMUNIQUE DE PRESSE – COMUNICADO DE PRENSA

For immediate release                          Cairo, 27 April 2011

Egypt: ICJ high-level mission calls for the establishment of effective democratic institutions and accountability for human rights violations

The International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) today called upon Egypt’s Supreme Council of the Armed Forces and the transitional government to take immediate concrete measures to end the practice of torture and arbitrary detention; pursue accountability for serious human violations; ensure that civilians are not prosecuted before military courts; and adopt, in accordance with international standards, legal and policy reforms necessary to establish the Rule of Law and effective democratic institutions in Egypt.

The statement comes as the ICJ concluded a high-level mission to Egypt aimed at assessing the Rule of Law and human rights situation in the country following the ouster through popular protest of the regime of Hosni Mubarak on 11 February 2011.

The mission was headed by ICJ President Pedro Nikken, who was accompanied by ICJ Commissioner Justice Kalthoum Kennou, and ICJ Legal Adviser for the Middle East and North Africa Saïd Benarbia. The delegation met with the Egyptian Minister of Justice, Mohamed El Gendy; Senior Officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; and members of the judiciary, the legal profession and civil society.

The ICJ urged the Egyptian authorities to undertake major reforms of the Egyptian legal system, including by adopting a new Constitution which safeguards the Rule of Law and human rights; ending immediately the 30 year old state of emergency; and dismantling the legal framework related to the state of emergency, including the special courts and elements of the Penal Code and the Code of Penal procedure that severely restrict the enjoyment and exercise of human rights and freedoms.

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