Egypt: Parliament’s approval of constitutional amendments demonstrates their complete disregard for human rights

Responding to the news that the amendments to Egypt’s constitution have been approved by parliament, Magdalena Mughrabi, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa, said:

“The decision to put these amendments to the constitution to a public referendum, amid the worst crackdown on freedom of expression and severe restrictions on political parties and independent media, demonstrates the Egyptian government’s contempt for the rights of all people in Egypt.

“These amendments aim to expand military trials for civilians, undermine the independence of the judiciary, and strengthen impunity for human rights violations by members of the security forces, furthering the climate of repression that already exists in the country.

Instead of upholding Egypt’s human rights obligations, parliamentarians have chosen to approve amendments that will facilitate the authorities’ crackdown on freedom of expression, association and assembly, erode people’s rights, and exacerbate the human rights crisis in the country
Magdalena Mughrabi, Deputy Middle East and North Africa Director at Amnesty International

“Instead of upholding Egypt’s human rights obligations, parliamentarians have chosen to approve amendments that will facilitate the authorities’ crackdown on freedom of expression, association and assembly, erode people’s rights, and exacerbate the human rights crisis in the country.”

A public referendum on the constitutional amendments must now take place within 30 days . If the amendments are approved, then they would come into force immediately, and would also allow President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to stay on as president until 2024 without elections and to run for one more six years term. The speaker of the parliament has also vowed to adopt a new constitution within 10 years.

For more information and analysis of the human rights impact of the constitutional amendments click here