UN expert ‘shocked’ by Egyptian reprisals against human rights defenders she met

World Bank/Kim Eun Yeul Buildings under construction in downtown Cairo.

This article is brought to you in association with the United Nations.

A United Nations independent rights expert has condemned Egyptian Government reprisals, which included housing demolitions and arbitrary arrests, against human rights defenders and others she encountered while visiting the country just over a month ago.

Special Rapporteur on the right to housing, Leilani Farha, said that Egypt “failed to adhere” to the assurances it provided to her, that “no person would be harassed, intimidated or subjected to reprisal for meeting or providing information” to her – or others in her official delegation – during the more than week-long visit.

“I am shocked that after my mission a number of families from two communities I visited have suffered forced eviction contrary to international human rights law,” she added.

According to the Special Rapporteur, several multi-storey houses have been demolished, furniture thrown into the street, and residents made homeless. Reportedly, adequate notice was not provided to victims, or any compensation, or new accommodation. Excessive force was also allegedly used by security forces against residents when they refused to leave their homes.

“Among those targeted were several houses and apartments belonging to family members of community leaders with whom I met while I was on official mission,” said Ms. Farha.

Special Rapporteurs are independent human rights experts, appointed by UN Member States at the Geneva-based Human Rights Council to examine and report on thematic rights issues and country situations.

In the course of their work, they undertake official visits after being invited to do so by the countries concerned.

The Terms of Reference for such country visits specify that “no persons, official or private individuals who have been in contact with the special rapporteur/representative in relation to the mandate will for this reason suffer threats, harassment or punishment or be subjected to judicial proceedings.”

In multiple resolutions, the UN Human Rights Council has reinforced this protection, reaffirming that everyone has the right to unhindered access and communication with the human rights mechanism of the UN and urged States to refrain from all acts of intimidation or reprisal.

Human rights defenders ‘followed and photographed’

Also voicing concern over the reprisals, Michel Forst, the UN Special Rapporteur on human rights defenders said that the alleged incidents represented a worrying pattern against individuals and communities directly related to Ms. Farha’s visit.

“Human rights defenders and lawyers working on the right to housing also reported that they have been followed and photographed by persons unknown to them, to have received anonymous and threatening phone calls, or have been summoned to report at police offices for interrogation,” he said, adding that one lawyer Ms. Farha had met, was subsequently slapped with a travel ban.

In early November, the two human rights experts raised their concerns and sought clarification regarding the alleged forced evictions and reprisals with the Egyptian Government. They have not yet received an official reply.

“Unless Egypt ensures that human rights defenders and victims of human rights violations can interact with UN human rights envoys without fear of reprisal, it is in our view not ready to host further visits,” said the two Special Rapporteurs.

Advertising

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

Thursday’s Daily Brief: dire living conditions in Idlib, migrants at US southern border, end in sight for trachoma, Human Rights Council

Parliament closes legal loophole to stop excessive Ukrainian chicken imports

Juncker and Tusk killed Greece on 07 July 2015 to meet the Commission’s summer vacation plan? #Grexit #Greferendum #Graccident

New energy security framework will help meet growing needs in East Africa, sustainably – UN economic wing

More than one billion people do not have access to electricity. What will it take to get them connected?

What is carbon offsetting?

EU integration: MEPs want to end permanent opt-outs from EU law

We should look to nature for solutions to the global water crisis. Here’s why

Somalia: UN Security Council condemns terrorist attack in which dozens were killed or injured

Parallel downfalls of Merkel and Deutsche Bank threaten Germany and Europe

Two States ‘side-by-side’ is the ‘peaceful and just solution’ for Israel-Palestine conflict: Guterres

Lost in translation

We need to rethink the way we heat ourselves. Here’s why

How to change the world at Davos

Bayer’s cross at night (Copyright: Bayer AG)

The EU clears Bayer-Monsanto merger amid wide competition and environmental concerns

State aid: Commission approves close to €94 million support for waste-to-energy high-efficient cogeneration plant in Bulgaria

How a trade war would impact global growth

“None of our member states has the dimension to compete with China and the US, not even Germany!”, Head of EUREKA Pedro Nunes on another Sting Exclusive

Germany may prove right rejecting Commission’s bank resolution scheme

Is Germany yielding to pressures for more relaxed economic policies?

ITU Telecom World 2018 takes place in Durban, South Africa

It takes far too long for a rare disease to be diagnosed. Here’s how that can change

CHINA UNLIMITED. PEOPLE UNLIMITED. RESTRICTIONS LIMITED

Libya: EU efforts should focus on protecting migrants, MEPs say

Security Council must ‘come together’ to address the plight of children trapped in armed conflict, says UN envoy

Why the Fourth Industrial Revolution needs more arts graduates

The West and Russia took what they wanted from Ukraine

MEPs call for safety and liability rules for driverless cars

India’s 1.3 billion residents start 21-day lockdown – Today’s coronavirus updates

Commission concludes that an Excessive Deficit Procedure is no longer warranted for Italy at this stage

Why rich countries are seeing more poverty

Technology can help solve the climate crisis – but it will need our help

Next time you fly, could you be boarding a train instead of a plane?

EU-U.S. trade talks: milestone reached in mutual recognition on pharmaceuticals

UN spotlights ‘explosive’ obesity rates, hunger in Latin America and Caribbean

UN chief appeals for calm as Mali presidential election draws to a close

Climate change will never be combatted by EU alone while some G20 countries keep procrastinating

It’s ‘time to #EndTB’, says UN on World Tuberculosis Day

Mental health: a medical school’s demand

This is how climate science went mainstream

The world has made spectacular progress in every measure of well-being. So why does almost no one know about it?

EU fight against tax-evasion and money laundering blocked by Britain

These cities have the best quality of life

Eating less beef and more beans would cut deaths by 5-7%

We are on the edge of a new ‘cyber’ space age. This is how we make it a success

The EU resumes budget support assistance to the Republic of Moldova

Sweden is fighting loneliness by housing older and younger generations together

OECD survey reveals many people unhappy with public services and benefits

UN chief calls for Security Council to work with Myanmar to end ‘horrendous suffering’ of Rohingya refugees

JADE Spring Meeting 2016 highlights

European Young Innovators Forum @ European Business Summit 2014: Europe for StartUps, vision 2020

EU out to conquer African Union summit

Imported and EU fisheries products should be treated equally

Ben Stiller’s new role, more about hope than humour, as he’s named Goodwill Ambassador for UNHCR

Some endangered languages manage to thrive. Here’s how

High unemployment to continue haunting the EU

5 ways to swim, not sink, as part of a ‘liquid workforce’

Will France vote for more or less Europe in the next presidential elections?

MWC 2016 LIVE: Intel focuses on 5G “beyond the Powerpoint”

Budget MEPs approve €34m in EU aid to Greece, Poland, Lithuania and Bulgaria

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s