The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay on (May 8) urged the Egyptian Government to take steps to ensure that the current version of a draft law on civil society organizations is laid open to careful examination by Egyptian and international human rights experts, and, based on their advice, is brought into line with international standards, before it is adopted by the Shura Council.
Excerpts from the Middle East and North Africa section:
Egypt’s constitutional drafting process reflected the overall turbulence in the country. The first drafting committee was disbanded by an administrative court, and the second committee lost a large number of its members when they walked out in protest over the theocratic direction the draft was taking.
It is a common characteristic of totalitarian regimes to render ineffective any opposition to their authority. Non-state-approved religious groups often fall into this category because of their separate, unique identities and their allegiance to their own, non-state authorities. Members of these groups may be limited in their ability to move freely within a majority culture by various forms of marginalization and discrimination. Individuals may find themselves excluded from admission to certain universities or professional schools, limited in their access to financial resources, and without significant influence in the decisions of government. Such forms of discrimination leave members of minority groups open to harassment, abuse, and violence perpetrated by the majority culture, with little or no protection from law enforcement or recourse to the courts.
Amnesty International slammed the government on Wednesday for failing to protect Coptic Christians, the largest religious minority in the country.
“Coptic Christians [in Egypt] must be protected from sectarian violence,” the international human rights body said in a statement.
Amnesty said there had been a rise in tensions between religious communities in the town of Wasta in Beni Suef Governorate, about 100 km south of Cairo, in recent weeks.
Dr. Abdel-Azeem Mahmoud,
President, and The Esteemed Members of the Human Development Committee
Date March 25, 2013
Re: As agreed, a written copy of shared experiences and best practices shared in our recent meeting on the regulation of the work of Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) in Egypt
Coptic Solidarity is a U.S. public charity organization under section 501 (C) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Contributions are deductible under Section 170 of the Code.