WORLD CITIZENS CALL FOR THE UNCONDITIONAL RESPECT OF THE RIGHT TO LIFE, LIBERTY AND SECURITY OF PERSON IN EGYPT
Paris & Geneva, August 16, 2013
The Association of World Citizens (AWC) is gravely concerned at the serious human rights violations which have been committed in recent weeks by both the security and armed forces and the Muslim Brotherhood movement in Egypt.
Thus, the AWC welcomes the August 15 Appeal of the United Nations Security Council urging both the Egyptian Government and the Muslim Brotherhood to exercise “maximum restraint” with a view to ending the violence which has spread across the country. The military-police-security forces confronted the predictable resistance of pro-Morsi forces with a brutal show of force designed to instill fear and submission but gave rise instead to a collective display of resolve-until-death and a readiness for martyrdom.
However, the AWC stresses that more than “maximum restraint” is needed. The majority of Egyptians desire a more representative government based on respect for human rights which will provide the basis for a much-needed economic recovery.
The AWC underlines the need for strong civil society institutions and Nongovernmental Organizations (NGOs). Both domestic and international NGOs working for freedom of expression, religious freedom and women’s rights have been under unwarranted pressure.
The AWC has protested the recurrent violent attacks carried out by Muslim Brotherhood supporters against the Coptic Christians of Egypt, a community that has been for two and a half years the target of outrageous sectarian violence, including the August 14-15 burning of some 14 Coptic churches in reprisal attacks to the police violence against pro-Morsi sit-in protesters.
Article 3 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights clearly provides that “Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person ». This right belongs to everyone, not just to people who think as we do. Democracy and the rule of law should never be a one-way flow.
The AWC therefore calls on the Egyptian Government, including the police and armed forces, to ensure at all times full respect for human rights in the maintenance of public order, and on the Muslim Brotherhood party to refrain from any actions that are not strictly related to the right to peaceful demonstration, and unequivocally condemn any such actions committed by its members.
The AWC further urges that immediate, special protection be given to the Coptic Christian community and any other national, religious or other minorities that may find themselves in harm’s way due to the current unrest in Egypt.
Finally, the AWC is concerned with the consequences of the proclamation of the one-month State of Emergency across the country. Past States-of-Emergency periods have always opened the door to human rights abuses and to military authoritarianism. Therefore, the AWC calls for a speedy return to civilian rule, new democratic elections, and a new constitution which places human rights as a core value.