Egypt Condemns EP for Criticizing Rights Violations in Country
Egypt has condemned on Saturday statements by the European Parliament (EP) expressing concern about human rights violations in Egypt, AFP said, citing a report published on Saturday by the state-run press.
Egyptian Parliament Speaker Ahmed Fathi Surur has condemned in a letter he addressed to the president of the EP Nicole Fontaine the statements which called on the Egyptian government to respect human rights, to stop judicial procedures against homosexuals and to cancel the death penalty.
Earlier on Thursday, the EP approved a proposal to establish a Euro-Mediterranean Association Agreement with Egypt, the bulk of whose clauses are related to trade but whose language also commits the Egyptian government to respect human rights and democracy, AFP said.
The draft of the proposal, according to the agency, was prepared by the EP's foreign affairs committee noted that "respect for human rights and democratic principles (are) an 'essential element' of the EU-Egypt agreement", and noted that "the agreement can be suspended if they are infringed."
Human rights activists have criticized in last November the four-month trial, which found 23 men guilty of charges related to gay sex.
Amnesty International has accused Egypt of prosecuting people for their sexual orientation and said the court was not independent.
It also called on Egypt to free a teenager jailed for three years for “practicing sexual immorality.”
Amnesty has in a joint statement with the New York-based Human Rights "we are extremely concerned about the conviction and harsh sentencing of a child for his alleged sexual orientation."
Two weeks ago, the Amnesty urged Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to end the referral of civilians to military courts as they deny defendants their rights, and spotlighted the current trial of 94 Islamists as an example of justice gone wrong.
The international rights watchdog said the military tribunals violated the "fundamental requirements of international law." – Albawaba.com
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