Cablegate: Tip Prosecutor Talks About the Comprehensive Trafficking Law


DE RUEHEG #1818/01 2601509
P 171509Z SEP 09

C O N F I D E N T I A L CAIRO 001818



E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/17/2019
SUBJECT: TIP PROSECUTOR TALKS ABOUT THE COMPREHENSIVE TRAFFICKING LAW REF: CAIRO 1758 Classified By: Minister Counselor for Economic and Political Affairs Donald A. Blome for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d).
1.(C) Key Points: -- Hany Fathy Georgy, Senior Chief Prosecutor for Human Rights and trafficking-in-persons (TIP) said the draft of Egypt's comprehensive trafficking law conforms to all international standards including protection of the victim. -- Georgy said the Muslim Brotherhood will oppose the law as being against Sharia, Arab culture, and forced on Egypt by the West. However, he hopes strong support from First Lady Suzanne Mubarak will convince legislators to pass the law. -- Georgy said Egyptian TIP officials believe the U.S. TIP Report is counterproductive because it tries to "shame" Egypt into compliance. -- Lack of training for police and prosecutors is the biggest hurdle to implementation of trafficking laws in Egypt.

2.(C) Comment: Georgy is the chief TIP champion in the Public Prosecutors office. He participated in the International Visitor's TIP program so he understands and agrees with the U.S. perspective on human trafficking. He was recently appointed to become the Chief Magistrate in Mansoura and will be leaving his current post in October. ------------------------------------- Egypt's Comprehensive Trafficking Law -------------------------------------

3.(C) Hany Fathy Georgy, Senior Chief Prosecutor on Human Rights including TIP told us on September 15 that the GoE's TIP coordinating committee looked at trafficking laws from 40 countries before drafting its comprehensive trafficking law. He proudly stated that the "draft law" conforms to all international standards. Georgy said the law includes definitions of trafficking offenses, crimes, penalties, victim's protection, and exempts victims from civil and criminal liability from "forced acts." He said the law focuses most of the attention on "internal" trafficking and has one section on transnational trafficking, which addresses Egypt's extraterritoriality role. According to Georgy, all trafficking crimes under the new law, including complicity with the crime, are considered to be felonies. Businesses and corporations will also be held liable for the action of their employees. The law also obligates the government and the courts to provide for victim protection. His one disappointment is that there is no system for witness protection because Egypt "lacks the resources" to provide this. However, he said threats against witnesses would be prosecuted under other laws. ---------------------------------------- Next Steps: The Supporters and Opponents ----------------------------------------

4.(C) Georgy praised the efforts of First Lady Suzanne Mubarak as "instrumental" in getting the trafficking law drafted and ready to be presented to the People's Assembly in late November 2009. The draft law will next go to PM Ahmed Nazif's office for his approval. Georgy expects Nazif, whom he described as a "liberal thinker," will approve the draft and forward the law to the People's Assembly. Georgy expects substantial opposition to the law from members of the Muslim Brotherhood on the basis that the law is against Sharia and traditional Arab culture, and is being forced on Egypt by the West. Specifically, he mentioned that early/summer marriages (reftel) will be a sticking point because they are typically conducted by the local Imams. Georgy hopes that "huge pressure" from the office of the First Lady will convince legislators, especially those in the ruling National Democratic Party, to pass the comprehensive trafficking law. Despite his promotion, Georgy is slated to promote and defend the draft law in the People's Assembly. ------------------------------ TIP Report "Counterproductive" ------------------------------

5.(C) Georgy said there are currently two schools of thought within the Egyptian Government on whether to continue to engage with the USG on TIP. One school advocates ignoring the U.S. TIP report and believes the GOE should not cooperate with the USG or Embassy Cairo on this issue. The other school, to which Georgy subscribes, disagrees with the 2009 TIP Report ranking, but feels the GoE should still continue to work with the USG on TIP. Both schools believe the TIP Report is counterproductive because it tries to "shame" countries into compliance. ------------------- TIP Training Needed -------------------

6.(C) Georgy admitted that the biggest challenge to implementing TIP laws is the lack of police awareness and training. He said the police, as first responders, lack the skill set to identify victims. Georgy said many police officers fail to understand that "prostitutes have human rights when the police lack the same rights." Georgy was happy to hear about current and potential USG funding of NGOs for TIP projects in Egypt. He stated that this was the "right track" to take in Egypt. Georgy asked if it would be possible to get reports and books on U.S. TIP case law, and information on how the laws were interpreted and implemented. Scobey

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