UN: Appointing Egypt to co-lead global counter-terrorism review will have catastrophic consequences for human rights

Responding to the announcement that Egypt has been appointed to co-lead the review of the UN’s Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy, Simon Crowther, Legal Advisor at Amnesty International said:

“This move puts Egypt - a country with a long and egregious record of human rights abuses - in a perfect position to delete the provisions protecting an individual’s human rights from the UN’s counter-terrorism strategy. This would have catastrophic consequences.

This move puts Egypt - a country with a long and egregious record of human rights abuses - in a perfect position to delete the provisions protecting an individual’s human rights from the UN’s counter-terrorism strategy. This would have catastrophic consequences.
Simon Crowther, Legal Advisor at Amnesty International

“This comes within the context of Egypt’s long-term attempts to weaken human rights protections across the board at the UN level, including through repeated attempts to dilute and distort the ability of UN Human Rights experts to do their jobs.

“The true extent of the threat this poses can be seen simply by looking at Egypt’s horrendous domestic human rights record. The authorities regularly use the pretext of counter-terrorism powers to arbitrarily detain thousands of political opponents, subject them to enforced disappearances and torture, and violate their right to fair trial as well as to persecute human rights defenders, including through reprisal for their engagement with the United Nations.”

Background

On 21 November 2019 Egypt and Spain were selected to co-lead a review of the UN’s Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy.

Next week on 27 November 2019 Amnesty International will publish a report highlighting how Egypt’s Supreme State Security Prosecution is misusing counter-terrorism legislation to prosecute thousands of peaceful critics and violate their fair trial rights.