Revolutionary Youth Union files lawsuit to block rights council formation

The Union of Revolutionary Youth filed a lawsuit Wednesday at an administrative court to halt the president's decision to form the National Council for Human Rights, asserting that his decree "did not conform to the proper standards and basis for selection [of members]."

Union spokesperson Tamer al-Qadi, the plaintiff, told Al-Masry Al-Youm that the selection of the council members was based on "the political interests of the Muslim Brotherhood.

The head of the group's Legal Committee, Hussein Hassan, described the presidential order to form the National Council for Human Rights as an "abuse" of international treaties.

According to Coordinator General of the union and Constituent Assembly member Mohamed Saeed, the union is also "in the process of filing a lawsuit to halt the decree to form the Supreme Press Council in the near future."

Saeed stressed that, "It would have been better to wait until the completion of the new Constitution, especially the chapter on freedoms, before establishing various government councils, including the press and human rights."

National Council for Human Rights members were chosen by the Shura Council's General Committee, which is dominated by the Muslim Brotherhood. Most of those chosen have an Islamist background, including the acting head of the council, Judge Hossam al-Gheriany, who leads the Constituent Assembly tasked with drafting the constitution and who is known to have Brotherhood sympathies.

Other members known for their Islamist orientation include former presidential candidate for the Salafi Asala Party Abdullah al-Ashal, former Salafi Nour Party MPs Talaat Marzouk and Abdallah Badran, and pro-Brotherhood preacher Safwat Hegazy. Muslim Brotherhood leaders Mohamed al-Beltagy, Mahmoud Ghozlan, Mohamed Tosoun and Hoda Abdel Moneim, as well as the group’s lawyer Abdel Moneim Abdel Maqsoud, were also appointed to the council.

The decree to form the council has faced criticism from several activists and organizations, including the Free Egyptians Party, whose Ahmed Khairy questioned the council’s criteria for selection.

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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