Egypt: UPR Submission November 2019

Source: Human Rights Watch

Author(s): Human Rights Watch

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President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi won a second presidential term in March 2018 elections that were held in a largely unfree and unfair environment. President al-Sisi rose to power on the heels of the June 30 mass protests, when he, as the then-defense minister, led the Egyptian military’s move to unseat Egypt’s first democratically elected President Mohamed Morsi. He was elected for his first presidential term in the summer of 2014, and since that time his government has dramatically escalated the state’s repression and violence against his fellow citizens to stifle all forms of dissent.

The human rights situation in Egypt has collapsed since Egypt’s last Universal Periodic Review (UPR) in 2014. Instead of implementing even small steps towards justice for the most serious crimes, authorities have relied on a state of emergency and repressive counterterrorism laws to suppress freedoms of expression and association and to largely silence peaceful dissent, including by prosecuting journalists and human rights activists. Abusive state agencies, particularly the Interior Ministry’s National Security Agency and the police, have tortured, abused, and disappeared opponents with near-total impunity. The government has further restricted basic freedoms, including through new legislation passed by parliament, which has largely become a rubber stamp for Al-Sisi’s policy decisions. The March 2018 presidential vote was held in an unfree, unfair environment. Under such severe repression, authorities have been moving to pass constitutional amendments that would end any judiciary independence and invite army intervention in politics.

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