Abdel Fattah al-Sisi continues his maneuvers to circumvent human rights criticism

Government institutions and close circles to the regime of Abdel Fattah al-Sisi celebrate his decision to lift the state of emergency, which had been declared in violation of the constitution since April 2017. All of these parties are competing in expressing the wisdom and experience of the president since he always pursued the consolidation of respecting human rights. Also, they considered this decision as a new open horizon for the rights and freedoms’ file in Egypt.

Regardless of what we have already mentioned in our previous report that the cancellation of the emergency state is a vain decision as the real effect of the emergency law were provided in other laws that make the emergency the normal not the exceptional state that turns Egypt to live under a permanent undeclared emergency state, but we would assume that the regime is serious about respecting human rights and it’s a real breakthrough that entails more steps that reveal the real intentions regardless of vain decisions and propaganda. We think that any honest political will to open a new horizon for democracy should express itself

Through tangible and practical procedures. On top of such procedures, the release of the prisoners of conscience and the convicted because of their peaceful political activities, who are estimated with thousands drained in the Egyptian prisons that made them and their relatives suffer. Another step related to the previous one, finishing open and long-term pre-trial detention that turned to be a punishment itself used to keep opposition detained without any trials. The pre-trial detention could be 30 or 60 days at maximum and only in serious crimes, and it should be provided that it may not be renewed or circumvented in any way.

Any honest political willingness to open the public arena should reconsider the legal system that justifies that repression; on top of this the Protest Law, Terrorism Law, Terrorist Entities Law, Electronic Crimes Law, and the NGOs Law that all of these laws including alternative articles that keeps Emergency state alive. Also, the regime should hold the blocking of websites and digital newspapers that has exceeded 600 in violation of the law. The regime should also stop the monopoly of media through the entities affiliated with the General Intelligence Service to enable real expression freedom that allows the existence of other opinions.   

Such reform should also include the independence and freedom of the judicial authority, stop intervention in its work, stop punishing of independent judges, the retrial of collective sentences that issued without valid judicial procedures, and the cancellation of the trials before the Supreme State Security Court to be done before normal courts. Allowing prisoners to receive their rights provided in law and regulations, stopping the punishment of political prisoners through solitary confinement, jogging deprivation, reading books, mass prayer, and the other rights. Also, the regime should open the doors of independent human rights organizations and approve surprise inspection that reveals the real conditions in prisons.

Activation of the constitutional article of national reconciliation, issuance of transitional justice law that guarantees transparency, accountability, develop the frame of national reconciliation and victim compensation according to international standers. Restructuring the Ministry of Interior, dissolving the notorious National Security Agency (Political Security), holding accountable all security personnel involved in enforced disappearances, torture, and physical liquidation, and integrating the human rights culture into the educational system of police officers and personnel.

If some of these demands were implemented without circumvention would be clear evidence from the president to prove his seriousness to accomplish the political reform and maintain real freedoms and rights respect. Other than that, it is meaningless noise, running in place, and propaganda aimed at whitewashing the ugly face of the regime against the international community nothing more.