Egypt: Ongoing human rights violations amidst a widespread crackdown

Press release

As Egypt prepares for its second cycle of the Universal Periodic Review at the UN Human Rights Council, the human rights situation in the country continues to deteriorate. Independent civil society groups including human rights organizations are facing unprecedented threats of closure and prosecution. Human rights defenders, peaceful protesters, journalists as well as political opponents continue to be targeted by the authorities for exercising their fundamental human rights such as the right to peaceful assembly, association, and expression. They face arbitrary arrest, detention, judicial harassment and hefty imprisonment sentences. Violations of due process and of the right to fair trial are rampant amidst an environment where the judiciary can no longer be considered independent. Furthermore, new measures which could lead to more prosecution of civilians before military courts have been recently announced and mass death sentences continue to be reported.

At the same time, the authorities have failed to hold their officials accountable for human rights violations committed since 2011. Impunity in Egypt continues to prevail as massive human rights violations are not effectively investigated, their perpetrators not prosecuted, and victims have not been granted reparation. This impunity extends to crimes of violence against women in the public sphere. In the hundreds of cases of mass sexual assault against women protesters around Tahrir square between November 2012 and January 2014, no perpetrator has yet been held to account, and mob attacks have continued. The limited measures authorities have taken to combat violence against women, still remain inadequate.

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