Egypt urgently needs to establish the rule of law!

Press release
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Following the ousting of Mohamed Morsy, the democratically elected president, by the Supreme Council of Armed Forces on July 3, 2013, the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) calls for the unconditional respect for international standards of human rights, a rapid return to legality and the restoration of political power to a civilian government through a political process in accordance with democratic principles.

As was the case with the methods the Army employed when it exercised power after the fall of Hosni Mubarak in February 2011, those now being used to remove Mohamed Morsy and contain members of the Muslim Brotherhood are of utmost concern.

It is now up to the Egyptian authorities to demonstrate their willingness to effectively implement the roadmap that they designed. This includes respect for the principle of pluralism, as well as refraining from conducting a witch hunt against the officials and supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood,” said Karim Lahidji, FIDH President.

FIDH is particularly concerned about violations of the principle of rule of law. It urges the authorities to put an end to arbitrary arrests that have taken place during the past 48 hours.

Since the overthrow of Mohamed Morsy, the authorities have arrested several members of the Muslim Brotherhood, and its affiliated party, the Freedom and Justice Party. Three hundred arrest warrants have allegedly been issued. The Attorney General also issued a ban forbidding Morsy and eight other leaders to leave the country on the grounds of “insulting the judiciary.”

Morsy’s time in power was characterized not only by a total disregard of the demands of the Egyptian people, but also by his appropriation of the transition process, angering millions of Egyptians.While the increase in violations of human rights and democratic principles is the corollary of the growing authoritarianism that marked the year that President Morsy held power, it is imperative that the acting authorities immediately commit to these principles and work toward the establishment of the rule of law,” Lahidji added.

The Ministry of Health has documented 56 deaths and 2,495 injured in demonstrations for and against President Morsy, which shook the country between June 28 and July 3. The organization Nazra for Feminist Studies and other organizations have documented at least 101 cases of sexual violence including rape between 28 June and 2 July 2013. At least 80 cases have been documented in Tahrir Square in Cairo on 3 July alone.

These acts of violence are of extreme concern. Impartial and independent investigations must be conducted to ensure that the perpetrators are held accountable in a court of law.

While all parties must show restraint, the authorities are responsible for guaranteeing the right to peaceful protest and assembly, the right to liberty and personal safety, the right to physical and mental integrity and right to a fair trial, in order to reestablish social peace.

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