Egypt: Constitutional Amendments Entrench Repression

Source: Human Rights Watch

Author(s): Human Rights Watch

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The Egyptian government should withdraw proposed constitutional amendments that will consolidate authoritarian rule, Human Rights Watch and the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) said today. The amendments will undermine the Egyptian judiciary’s dwindling independence and expand the military’s power to intervene in political life.

On April 16, 2019, Parliament finalized and approved the amendments, which a pro-government bloc proposed in early February. On April 17, the National Election Authority said a public referendum was set for April 19-22. The official draft amendments were only published in the official Gazette on April 18. The vote takes place amid ongoing mass arrests and a relentless crackdown on fundamental freedoms, including currently targeting those calling for boycotting or rejecting the amendments. Given the ongoing repression, and that political opposition in Egypt has dwindled to a nominal presence, a free and fair vote will be impossible.

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