Rights groups say combating terrorism doesn't require popular mandate

Thursday 25-07-2013 11:23 PM
Rights groups say combating terrorism doesn't require popular mandate

Defense Minister Abdel Fattah al-Sisi - photo from Facebook


Several rights groups have expressed their concern about army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi's invitation to the people to give him a popular mandate to combat terrorism.

In a statement they issued collectively, the groups said that Egyptian laws include articles that explicitly condemn all acts of terrorism.

Possible loopholes in these laws do not necessitate a popular mandate for the army and the police to work outside the legal framework; on the contrary, they mean we should work on boosting the law's sovereignty, the statement said.

In light of the escalating violence driven by political religious reasons against "the political and religious other" during the past two years, it is necessary to evaluate the extent to which the political parties' law contributes to this escalation.

According to citizens' testimonies, police forces were absent during violent clashes on many occasions, a matter that raises questions on whether this absence is a continuance of the selective absence policies which the police have been following since the January 25 revolution.

This selective absence does not require a mandate outside the law's framework. It rather needs committing the police - by law - to do their duty to fight acts of violence and terrorism against the people, the statement added.

The groups that signed this statement are the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies, the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information, the Egyptian Center for Economic and Social Rights, the Human Rights Association for the Assistance of prisoners, the Land Center for Human Rights, the Misryon Against Religious Discrimination group and the Arab Penal Reform Organization.

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