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By Gazette staff

CAIRO, August 29, 2018 - The cabinet approved on Wednesday a draft law to form the higher permanent committee for human rights which will be in charge of dealing with and responding to allegations levelled against Egypt on human rights.

The committee will be entrusted with following up Egypt’s implementation of its international commitments related to human rights and preparing periodical reports in this regard.

The committee will also monitor, study and deal with problems related to human rights which are being raised at the international level. It will propose the policies and measures which can be included in the recommendations of the periodical review, presented to the United Nations Human Rights Council.

The setting up of the higher permanent committee for human rights is in implementation of the instructions of President Abdel Fattah El Sisi for measures to be taken at the institutional and executive levels, for protecting human rights and freedoms.

The cabinet also approved on Wednesday a draft law for drawing up a strategy for developing the Sinai Peninsula by forming technical work groups for economic development, infrastructure upgrade, social development, institutional construction and development management.

The draft law is in implementation of the political leadership’s concept of preparing a map for investments, making the best use of economic capabilities in the Sinai Peninsula and establishing a database for investments in the industrial, agricultural, mining and tourism sectors.

During its weekly meeting, the cabinet discussed several political, economic and social files and a set of reports on the quality of services offered to citizens.

During the meeting which was chaired by Prime Minister Moustafa Madbouli, the cabinet discussed a host of topics, draft laws and ministerial decisions aimed at achieving a renaissance at every level, establishing economic and social stability, encouraging investments and following up the progress of work on various projects in all the governorates, to ensure they are completed on schedule.

The cabinet also followed up the measures taken in accordance with the directives issued by President Abdel Fattah El Sisi regarding social protection programmes, upgrading health and education, taking care of people with a limited income and meeting all the needs of citizens.

PM Madbouli said that an upgrade and maintenance plan for the roads, neighbourhoods and industrial zones of the October 6 City was being carried out at a total cost of LE1.6 billion.

PM Madbouli also said that several public facility projects to do with drinking water, sewage water, roads and irrigation were being implemented in Badr City. They were part of a plan to provide all the services needed by the citizens.

CAIRO, August 25, 2018 (MENA) - Secretary of the Parliament's Human Rights Committee Margaret Azer said that work is underway by the committee to launch an initiative to set up small and micro-sized projects for the "gharemeen" (people who were imprisoned due to inability to repay their debts) so as to be integrated in the society.

The move is set to be implemented in cooperation with the parliament’s small and micro-sized enterprises committee as well as the ministries of planning and social solidarity as well as civil society organisations, Azer told reporters on Saturday.

She added that the initiative coincides with releasing a number of debt defaulters recently upon directives from President Abdel Fattah El Sisi.

CAIRO, Aug 20, 2018 (MENA) - Egyptian Local Development Minister Mahmoud Sha'arawi said on Monday that 18 new human rights units were established in different governorates as part of the State's efforts to promote human rights culture.

The new units were set up in the governorates of Qalyoubia, Alexandria, Beheira, Gharbiya, Kafr el Sheikh, South Sinai, Dakahlia, Sharqiya, Suez, Beni Suef, Minya, Fayyum, Sohag, New Valley, Qena, Aswan, Red Sea and Luxor, the minister said in press statements.

New units will be also set up in the remaining governorates within the coming few days, he said.

The units will be tasked with examining complaints related to human rights and provide humanitarian services in the health, education and women's and children's rights, he said.

The ministry will keep a close eye on these units and will punish the persons who turn a deaf ear to citizens's problems, he said.

CAIRO, July 16, 2018 (MENA) - Chairman of the Permanent Arab Commission on Human Rights Amjad Shamout renewed his call for Arab states to swiftly ratify the Arab Charter on Human Rights as it will be considered the only protection mechanism for human rights and development of a system that guarantees receiving human rights complaints.

The remarks were made at a ceremony held Monday at the Arab League premises to mark the golden jubilee of the establishment of the Arab Human Rights Committee.

Shamout also urged Arab countries to approve the charter's statute to be put into effect, adding that the committee will soon approve the Arab strategy for human rights and the Arab declaration for protection of human rights defenders and anti-torture guide.

He said the Arab Human Rights Committee's main achievement is putting a permanent item on its agenda pertaining to confrontation of Israeli violations to human rights in the occupied Arab territories in Palestine.

He also called for upgrading the Arab human rights system to  counteract agendas which contradict with principles of the international law.

CAIRO, July 15, 2018 - The Head of the National Council for Human Rights, Mohamed Fayeq, has lauded the state’s efforts in fighting the war against terrorism, noting that such efforts have been characterised by devotion – so much so that several countries have come to view Egypt as an invincible shield against international terrorism.

Emphasising that Egypt’s efforts and successes in the war against terrorism have gained the country wide global appreciation, Mr Fayeq said that Egypt has paid a high price in making these efforts and successes. Several world countries especially in Africa and Europe, he added, now look to Egypt as a strong protecting wall against international terrorism.

In an interview with the Middle East News Agency (MENA) while on a visit to Beirut, Lebanon, Mr Fayeq stressed that the area of freedoms and human rights in Egypt is witnessing progress, adding that the state of emergency is confined to the fight against terrorism.

Mr Fayeq said he is confident that President Abdel Fattah El Sisi’s second term in office will witness a great and positive development in all fields pertaining to freedoms as well as in expanding the freedoms in an unprecedented way.

Noting that Egypt’s present Constitution is one of the world’s best in terms of rights and freedoms, Mr Fayeq said that the existence of the Supreme Constitutional Court constitutes one of the most important guarantees for rights and freedoms since it has the competence to invalidate any law that contravenes the provisions and stipulations of the Constitution.

Asserting that elections held in Egypt are totally free from any government interference, Mr Fayeq said that state is no longer capable of interfering in election even if it assumingly wanted to.

The head of NCHR categorically denied reports suggesting that there are detainees in Egypt. “It is totally untrue particularly since all measures related to the arrest and temporary custody are adopted through the General Prosecution and the judiciary,” he explained.

Conditions inside jails have become much better compared to previous periods despite deliberate attempts to convey a wrong image, he said, adding that a limited number of prisons need development in terms of management and potentials.

BEIRUT, July 15, 2018 (MENA) - Head of the Egyptian National Council for Human Rights Mohamed Fayek said Sunday the Egyptian state has genuinely and seriously gone through war against terror in a way no other world nation has, referring to the fact that many world countries, particularly in Africa and Europe, have begun to perceive Egypt as a strong protecting wall against international terror.

In an interview with MENA, Fayek pointed out to Egypt's efforts and success in the war on terror which are highly appreciated despite the dear price Egypt is paying.

It is necessary that all world countries fight terrorism particularly that the majority of them have come under terror attacks, he said.

He noted progress made in the fields of freedoms and human rights in Egypt, adding that the state of emergency is now confined to terrorism.

He asserted that the elections that were held were totally free from any government interference. The state no longer interferes in the elections as the case had been in the past, he said.

He expressed belief that the second term in office of President Abdel Fattah El Sisi will witness a great and positive development in the various fields pertaining to freedoms.

He categorically denied reports on detainees in Egypt. "It is totally untrue particularly that all measures related to arresting and apprehending suspects are done through the General Prosecution and the judicial system.

However, it is necessary to reduce the period of custody in some cases where the court finally acquits the defendant as this would mean that the person was punished for no reason, he said.

Conditions inside jails have become much better compared to previous decades despite deliberate attempts to convey a wrong image, he said, adding that a limited number of prisons need development in terms of management and potentials.

Some international right organizations exaggerate some incidents in Egypt, he said, asserting that any violations should be perceived in their actual size and any reports should be done professionally after verifying any told stories.

He referred to the great attention given by the Egyptian state over the past few years to strengthening relations with African states, adding that this is a right approach and should be enhanced.

Expanding air routes and flights to African countries should be done so that Egypt would become the communication link between Africa and the world, he said.

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