Egypt Watch

Egypt rejects UN statement: “We have not arrested anyone”

On Saturday, Egypt commented on a statement issued by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights condemning the arrest of peaceful demonstrators who demanded the departure of Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.

In a statement authorities said: “It is unacceptable that such statements are issued by a UN entity that should investigate how accurate it is and not base its assessment on assumptions and expectations in order to promote impressions contrary to reality.”

The Egyptian Foreign Ministry claimed that the statement issued by the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, is based on “undocumented” information based on “false assumptions,” considering that the expeditious issuance of sentences “reflects the lack of professionalism.”

The statement added: “No citizen in Egypt has been arrested or prosecuted for practicing legitimate activity, or for criticising the Egyptian government, but for committing crimes punishable by law.”

The statement claimed that “the right to peaceful demonstration is guaranteed in accordance with the constitution and the law, provided that this right is exercised in accordance with the necessary legal procedures, as in many countries of the world, to notify the relevant authorities, without causing intimidation of citizens and violation of the freedoms of others.”

On Friday Bachelet called on Egyptian authorities to “radically change” the way they deal with the demonstrations, calling for the immediate release of detainees who exercised their right to demonstrate.

In a statement, Bachelet urged Egyptian authorities to respect the right to freedom of expression and assembly, expressing concern over the large-scale arrest of protesters in Egypt.

“I remind the Egyptian government that under international law, people have the right to demonstrate peacefully,” Bachelet said.

She added: “Any response by the security forces must be consistent with international standards and regulations relating to the right to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly, as well as the right to a fair trial.”