Sunday, November 21, 2010

Egyptian authorities urged to uphold human rights during election

Amnesty International

"Amnesty International today called on the Egyptian authorities to ensure that all candidates and voters are not harassed or intimidated by security forces, supporters of the ruling party and others during the country's parliamentary elections on 28 November.

The organization's warning comes amid fresh restrictions by the Egyptian authorities on political opposition activists, clamping down on their freedoms of expression, association and assembly....

Egyptians criticizing the authorities, or considered a threat to public order or security, have faced arrest, detention, criminal charges and the threat of detention without charge or trial under the emergency law. Egypt has remained under a continuous state of emergency for almost 30 years, since 1981.

In the run-up to the elections, the Egyptian authorities have also acted to restrict public access to information and undermine political opposition.

Newspapers whose reports the authorities consider politically-sensitive have been seized or destroyed
. Media sources say a dozen Egyptian satellite television channels have been suspended.....

Levels of human rights abuses during November's elections are seen as indicative of what may occur next year when new presidential elections will be held. The current President, Hosni Mubarak, has been in power since 1981......

"Egypt's state of emergency and the Emergency Law have long facilitated violations of rights abuses throughout Egypt," said Malcolm Smart. "It is high time that they were removed.""

Egypt: 'Shouting slogans into the wind': Human rights concerns ahead of the parliamentary elections. (pdf) Report, 37 pages.

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