UN human rights chief seeks details from Egyptian authorities on recent developments

Egyptians protest in Cairo in July 2013. Photo: UN News Centre

19 July 2013 – The United Nations human rights chief has requested detailed information from the Egyptian authorities about the legal basis on which the former president and his team are detained, arrest warrants have been issued and the total number of people currently in custody following the recent change in government.

High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay made the requests during a 10 July meeting with the Egyptian Ambassador in Geneva, and also transmitted them in writing to the Government two days later.

The crisis in the country escalated earlier this month, resulting in the Egyptian military deposing President Mohamed Morsy amid widespread protests in which dozens of people were killed and wounded. The Constitution was then suspended and an interim government set up.

Ms. Pillay informed the Egyptian authorities that she would like to deploy a team to follow the developments on the ground.

“We are waiting for the approval of the authorities, and a team is on standby, ready to be deployed immediately as soon as such approval is received,” her spokesperson, Rupert Colville, told a news conference in Geneva.

Specifically, the High Commissioner has asked for a list of names of persons against whom arrest warrants have been issued in connection with the events on and after 3 July, when Mr. Morsy was ousted, indicating who among these persons is now in detention, and information about the legal basis upon which the warrants were issued.

She is also seeking information regarding the total number of people who are currently detained in connection with the events on and after 3 July, whether on the basis of a specific arrest warrants or otherwise, as well as the legal basis upon which the former president and his presidential team are detained.


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