Following an official visit to Egypt from 17 to 21 April 2009, the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism, Martin Scheinin, issued the following statement:
CAIRO: " I would like to express my appreciation for the cooperation extended to me by the Government of Egypt. I was able to have open and extensive discussions with key stakeholders regarding the country’s counter terrorism law and practices. The primary purpose of this visit was to engage with officials and experts regarding a counter terrorism law that is intended to replace the state of emergency, scheduled to end on 28 May 2010.
The Special Rapporteur had productive meetings with the Minister of Legal and Parliamentary Affairs and the ministries of foreign affairs, interior and justice. He also met with the Chief of the Egyptian Supreme Constitutional Court, the Public Prosecution and high level representatives of the Egyptian Council of Human Rights and Parliament, including the President of the People’s Assembly. In addition, the Special Rapporteur benefited from consultations with lawyers, academics, non governmental organizations and the international community.
The willingness of the Government to discuss the challenging subject of upholding human rights while countering terrorism is most encouraging. I will continue my dialogue with Egypt with a view to submitting a full public report on its counter-terrorism law and practice by the end of 2009. The report, which will contain a set of findings and recommendations, will then be considered by a future session of the Human Rights Council. In this context, I discussed with authorities my wish to visit Egypt again in the near future for the purpose of finalizing my report.”
Mr. Scheinin accepted the appointment of Special Rapporteur by the United Nations Commission on Human Rights on 7 August 2005. The mandate, established by Resolution 2005/80 was renewed by Resolution 6/28 of the Human Rights Council.
Mr. Scheinin is Professor of Public International Law at the European University Institute.
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