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Today marked the second and final day of the UN Human Rights Committee’s examination of the Egyptian government’s implementation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the first such examination in two decades. 

Dozens of rights organizations submitted reports to the committee ahead of the examination, with Amnesty International, for instance,  highlighting “Egypt’s deep-rooted and ongoing human rights and impunity crisis…and widespread violations of its obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.” Egyptian officials defended the government’s rights record in the session. The committee will issue its recommendations when the current session ends on March 24.

The UN Human Rights Council’s 52nd session also kicked off this week, shortly after seven human rights organizations appealed for member states to use the opportunity to “send a clear message to the [Egyptian] Government that the international community will continue to watch and respond to [Egypt’s human rights] situation as it develops.” They noted that the joint statement that 32 countries delivered to the committee two years ago had a direct impact, but that Egypt’s human crisis remains as dire as ever. 

On the other hand, Belgium’s Federal Parliament is due to vote on a resolution condemning Egypt’s rights record on March 2. The resolution would call on Belgium to initiate a new joint statement on Egypt’s human rights record at the Council and work to establish an international mechanism to investigate and report on rights violations.

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