The solution to the problems facing human rights in Egypt
First; the Egyptian authorities lack the understanding of the concept of free speech. Bloggers, such as Ahmed Mustafa, Hani Nazer, Abdel-Karim Nabil Suleiman and Rami Siyam criticizing Egypt’s contemporary social, political and economic problems are being arrested by the authorities.
The Egyptian government should drop all charges against detained bloggers and foster an environment of transparency in the country.
Second; with respect to the freedom of religion, Mr. Mubarak allows Muslims converting to Christianity to face extreme hardships and torture by the state security apparatus. The numbers of Muslims who dare to convert to Christianity do it in secret. That is because the penalty for leaving Islam is death in all schools of Sharia (Islamic law).
Former Egyptian Muslims are put to death by their own families and the Egyptian police for exercising their basic human rights to choose their own religion. We want all Egyptian citizens to have the freedom of belief, including the freedom to change one’s religion. The government must issue a law allowing Muslims to be free to convert to Christianity, if they so chose.
Third; torture is a systematic phenomenon in police stations. The Egyptian penal code provides for light sentences of police officials who exercise torture. Many individuals (males and females) are tortured, sexually assaulted and humiliated inside police stations. Some of the detainees were even killed from the potency of torture. Unfortunately, none of these officers who committed these crimes was punished. Recently, I received an email regarding the audio testimony of a woman and her daughter on how they were tortured and sexually assaulted in one of the police stations in Cairo. In order to overcome this infringement on one of the basic human rights, the penal code of Egypt should be amended and enhanced to impose deterrent sanctions against perpetrators exercising torture.
Additionally, The minister of interior must act immediately and issue a resolution providing for the punishment of any police officers who practice torture.
Fourth; Egypt must end the state of emergency, which has been continuously in effect for nearly 29 years. This state of emergency leads to the arbitrary arrest of innocent individuals in the streets of Cairo and other cities across the country. According to Human Rights Watch, 5,000 to 10,000 people are held in Egyptian prisons without any charge.
The Mubarak regime must repeal the emergency law and return to the judicial supervision of arrest and detention and follow what is called “due process.”
Fifth; the Mubarak regime continues to rely on what are know as “state security courts.” The court’s proceedings do not meet international fair trial standards and do not allow for appeal.
State security courts should be abolished by a presidential decree. Individuals tried under this court must be transferred to criminal court.
Sixth; civilians in Egypt still tried under the infamous military courts. Similarly, the military court’s proceedings do not protect due process rights by denying respondents from any method of appeal to a court’s decisions. Further, there is no guarantee of the autonomy of this court from the executive branch.
The president of Egypt must issue a presidential decree prohibiting civilians to be tried before the military courts.
Seventh; freedom of transportation to Christians was restricted by the decision of the Ministry of Interior prohibiting Christians to travel to Israel to visit both the churches of Nativity and Resurrection. This unfair and unreasonable ministerial resolution must be repealed.
Finally, The Egyptian government must refrain from exercising excessive use of force when dealing with African migrants and refugees attempting to file asylum to the United Nations High Commission for Refugees, located in Cairo.
Furthermore, the Egyptian border police must end immediately all forms of abuse and use of lethal force against refugees that sneak from the Egyptian borders to the Israeli side. Officers who killed or injured unarmed refugees trying to enter Israel via the Sinai Desert must be prosecuted.