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On October 29, Egypt was elected to the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) for a term running from 2017 to 2020. Egypt received a total of 173 votes, and this will be its second three-year stint on the Council, the first of which occurred from 2007 to 2010. Since 2013, Egypt has witnessed one of the worst periods for human rights in its history, with thousands killed, detained, and tortured by the state.

The government claimed, “Egypt joining the Human Rights Council, in conjunction with its current membership of the Security Council and the African Union’s Peace and Security Council, reflects increased confidence in Egypt internationally and its leading role in promoting security and stability in the Middle East and Africa.”
Egypt’s Foreign Minister suggested, “Egypt’s membership confirms as well the international appreciation and welcome of the soundness of the political process in the country that moves forward with steady steps towards building a modern civil state…” Middle East scholar Marc Lynch called Egypt’s election to the council “a travesty.”

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