UK Statement to Universal Periodic Review UN
Thank you, Mr President,
The UK welcomes the Egyptian delegation to Geneva. We recognise Egypt’s commitment to improving human rights and welcome its willingness to discuss challenges.
We note Egypt’s positive steps towards safeguarding human rights in several areas. In particular, we welcome the National Council for Human Rights’ creation and the establishment of a minimum quota of seats for women in the People’s Assembly. However, challenges remain.
We call on Egypt to end the ongoing State of Emergency and, to this end, welcome, in principle, the proposed anti-terrorism legislation which we hope will expedite the end of the State of Emergency and improve human rights protection. We urge Egypt to make the legislative process more transparent and consult civil society.
We encourage the Government to use the legislation to address current and persistent human rights violations including the use of administrative detention, torture and other ill treatment, military courts for civilians and the death penalty.
We note the rise in inter-religious tensions and urge further government efforts to reduce and prevent discrimination on the grounds of an individual’s religion or belief.
We have five recommendations:
To end the state of emergency and ensure that any replacement legislation addresses current and persistent human rights violations.
To commute all existing death sentences and introduce a moratorium on executions with a view to abolishing the death penalty.
To guarantee UNHCR unhindered, ongoing access to all asylum seekers and refugees in official custody, as well as to migrants not yet registered with UNHCR
To respond favourably to UN Special Rapporteurs’ outstanding visit requests
Prior to the elections, to review and amend legislation in the areas of freedom of expression, association, assembly and religion to ensure full compatibility with Egypt's international obligations.