By POMED –
The Egyptian government’s National Council for Human Rights (NCHR) held a meeting, on March 20, with the representatives of several political parties, all of whom operate in a highly restrictive political environment with no room for substantive opposition to President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.
- The meeting reportedly included participation from a handful of parties including the Popular Alliance, the Egyptian Democratic party, the Dostour (Constitution) party, and the Conservative party.
- According to Medhat al-Zahid, head of the Popular Alliance party, attendees called on the council to focus on the release of prisoners of conscience (..) and urged the council to amend the maximum period of legal pretrial detention from two years to no more than six months. The politicians proposed the use of electronic tagging devices and restrictions on movement as alternatives to pretrial detention, a measure abused by the Egyptian government to unjustly keep tens of thousands of individuals behind bars.
- Representatives from various parties also called for increased media freedom, access to blocked news websites, amendments to the election law to allow a proportional list system, and a review of the right to organize and peacefully assemble in the country, rights that are severely curtailed by the al-Sisi government.