Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry has rejected the EU’s concern regarding the situation in the country, calling it “a negative message” at a time when Egypt is combating “terrorism”.
During the 27th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council, the EU expressed particular concern over the “indiscriminate detentions and disproportionate sentencing… as well as the alarming situation of Human Rights Defenders and NGOs”.
The EU also stressed the need for a “thorough, independent and transparent investigation into the killing of protesters and security forces since 30 June 2013 and the need to bring those responsible to justice”.
In reply, Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry summoned on Tuesday EU ambassadors to Egypt to inform them of Egypt’s rejection of the EU statement, said a foreign ministry statement Tuesday.
The Egyptian statement said the EU’s stance reflects a “double standard”, which on the one hand calls for international support for the fight against terrorism whilst also attacking Egypt’s own fight against regional terrorism.
The Human Rights Council and the EU held a general debate regarding the situation in several countries, including Syria, Iraq, Ukraine, Sudan and the occupied Palestinian Territory.
The debate highlighted concerns on harassment, human rights abuses and the persecution of political activists and journalists. The debate also discussed the heavy restrictions imposed on civil society and independent media as well as the rise in the persecution of religious and ethnic minorities in several countries.
During the debate, Egypt’s permanent representative to the UN Amr Ramadan “rejected misleading statements made earlier against Egypt, and regretted the attempts to politicise the work of the Council”.
He noted that any fair assessment of the overall situation in Egypt would recognise the achievements made in the field of human rights and economic development.
“The Egyptian penal code was fully adequate and sentences were proportional,” he said.
President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi will visit the US in late September to take part in the 69th United Nations General Assembly, to be held at the UN’s New York headquarters.