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Egypt: CFJ hosts side event on torture in Egypt & erasure of survivors in European-Egyptian partnership agreement at the 56th session of the human rights council

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Press release

Geneva – June 23, 2024


The “Committee for Justice” (CFJ) will host a side event during the 56th regular session of the UN Human Rights Council, in collaboration with “Dignity – Danish Institute Against Torture,” “Redress,” “Egyptian Commission for Rights and Freedoms,” and “Egyptian Human Rights Forum.” The event will address torture in Egypt and the erasure of survivors within the framework of the EU-Egypt Partnership Agreement.

In its promotional material, CFJ referenced the promise made by Josep Borrell, the EU High Representative, a year ago on the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture. Borrell stated that the “EU honors and remembers torture victims and reaffirms its commitment to tirelessly work to eradicate torture

within and beyond its borders, ensuring justice and rehabilitation for all victims and survivors of torture.”

CFJ highlighted that for nearly eleven years, the Egyptian authorities have conducted a relentless and brutal campaign of torture, extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances, and arbitrary detention against political opponents, human rights defenders, and journalists. This campaign continues, reaching the level of crimes against humanity.

Despite these ongoing violations, the EU and Egypt entered into a “strategic and comprehensive partnership” this year, with the EU recognizing Egypt as a “reliable partner” and acknowledging Egypt’s “unique and vital geostrategic role as a pillar of security, moderation, and tolerance.”

CFJ emphasized that given the scale and systematic nature of the violations, the EU should have called for structural reforms to enhance the rule of law, ensure fair trial guarantees, open civil space, support the right to freedom of expression, peaceful assembly, and association, and freedom of the press, and release all arbitrarily detained individuals, rather than portraying Egypt as a pillar of security and moderation or engaging in joint counter-terrorism efforts.

CFJ concluded its promotional material with a question: “With Egypt rife with torture and systematic human rights violations, does this partnership agreement signify the EU’s abandonment of accountability, rehabilitation, and non-repetition of torture in Egypt?”

Speakers at the event will include Ahmed Mefreh, Executive Director of CFJ, Grant Shubin from “Dignity – Danish Institute Against Torture,” Olivia Dehnavi from “Redress,” and Mohamed Lotfy from the “Egyptian Commission for Rights and Freedoms.” The discussion will be moderated by Moataz El Fegiery.

The event will take place on Wednesday, June 26, 2024, at 12 PM in Room XXV of the Palais des Nations in Geneva.

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