Egypt Independent

Egypt FM responds to Kerry’s criticism of human rights in Egypt



Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukri has responded to John Kerry's accusations of human rights violations in Egypt.
 
In a press conference on Saturday, the foreign minister underlined the Egyptian government's devotion to the subject of human rights in Egypt. He stated that the government does not accept foreign intervention in the matter. The Egyptian people, Shoukri said, are the only ones who have the right to evaluate the state of human rights in their country.
 
The press conference came in answer to a statement of US Secretary of State John Kerry's, released by the State Department on Friday, in which Kerry expressed deep concern for the state of human rights in Egypt currently.
 
Shoukri spoke from the Palace of Liberation alongside Miroslav Lajčák, Slovakian Foreign Affairs Minister.
 
He stated that Egypt could equally criticize the human rights situation in partner countries where human rights are continually violated. He maintained that Egypt chooses not to do so openly, opting instead to object to violations of human rights in other countries using the proper channels.
 
Shoukri continued: "Egypt is keen to work in accordance with the law and the Egyptian Constitution. But [the matter of human rights] is an internal affair — only the Egyptian people have the responsibility to judge [the government] in this regard".
 
Egypt has over 40,000 human rights organizations that work freely in accordance with the law to maintain stability and security, said Shoukri.
 
Egypt's permanent delegate to the United Nations, Amr Ramadan, expressed dissatisfaction with the statements made by US Secretary of State John Kerry on Friday, when the US Secretary of State expressed his concern about the situations of civil society organizations and human rights in Egypt.
 
Ramadan said in a phone-in on state TV Saturday that the Kerry's statement is symptomatic of the United States' desire to dominate and impose a vision of imperialism on the world.
 
"The human rights file is politicized and is exploited in a manner contrary to truth," Ramadan argued..
 
Kerry criticized the Egyptian government's decision to interrogate a number of non-governmental rights organizations after they recorded government violations. This, Kerry stated, was part of a broader governmental campaign to intimidate opposition, journalists and activists.
 
Kerry called on the Egyptian government to alleviate restrictions on NGOs and freedom of speech.
 
 
 
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm