New York

24 December 2013

Statement Attributable to the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General on Egypt

The Secretary-General is seriously concerned about recent developments in Egypt. He condemns the deadly terrorist attack today on the police headquarters in Mansoura which has reportedly killed at least 15 people and wounded others.  He conveys his condolences to the families of the victims and to the Government and people of Egypt. He stresses that no cause can justify such acts of terrorism and he calls for the perpetrators to be brought to justice.

The Secretary-General is also troubled by the deteriorating human rights situation and political climate.  Under the controversial new law regulating protests, three prominent democracy and human rights activists were sentenced to three years in prison on Sunday, and Egyptian authorities last week raided a human rights organization. The Secretary-General views these actions, in restricting Egyptians' political space, as contrary to the spirit of Egypt's revolution nearly three years ago, when calls for freedom and democracy motivated Egyptians to take to the streets so courageously and decisively.  Egyptian authorities have reiterated their commitment to holding a referendum on the proposed constitution, followed by parliamentary and presidential elections.  The Secretary-General reminds Egyptian officials that freedom of assembly and expression are essential elements for credible elections.

The Secretary-General calls on Egyptians to find common ground and renewed consensus around the country’s transition. He continues to underscore the need for political inclusion and due process for those in detention.

The United Nations remains fully engaged in supporting Egypt, an important member of this organization.  The Secretary-General is fully committed to supporting the Egyptian people's goal of a stable, democratic, prosperous Egypt.