Source: Amnesty International

Author(s): Amnesty International

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Amnesty International is calling on the Egyptian parliament to reject the proposed constitutional amendments that would undermine judicial independence and expand military trials for civilians. If adopted, the amendments would weaken the rule of law, further erode fair trial guarantees and enshrine impunity for members of the armed forces. On 3 February 2019, 155 members of parliament submitted a request to amend 12 articles of the Egyptian constitution and to add nine new articles. The members come from different parties and are publicly supportive of President Abdelfattah Al-Sisi. On 14 February, parliament voted to advance the proposed amendments with 485 members in favour and 16 against and referred the bill to the Constitutional and Legislative Affairs Committee to submit its comments within 60 days, before putting it to a final vote. If approved by parliament, the amendments will be put forward to a referendum within 30 days. They would come into force on the day of the result should they be accepted by the public. These steps to amend the constitution are taking place during the worst crackdown on freedom of expression and a virtual absence of freedom of assembly given the security services’ zero tolerance approach to any form of peaceful protest.

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