World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 

Talks Can Save Egypt from Further Disastrous Violence

Pillay Calls For Urgent Talks to Save Egypt from Further Disastrous Violence

GENEVA (15 August 2013) - UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay has appealed to all sides in Egypt to step back from the brink of disaster after a day of bloody violence left hundreds dead or injured.

“I deplore the loss of life and call on all in Egypt to seek a way out of the violence.  I urge the Egyptian authorities and security forces to act with the utmost restraint,” the High Commissioner said.

The High Commissioner noted that there were conflicting reports about the scale of the violence as the security forces moved in on Wednesday to clear pro-Muslim Brotherhood sit-ins in Cairo. Government officials said more than 500 had been killed while the Muslim Brotherhood put the figure at more than 2,000.

"The number of people killed or injured, even according to the government’s figures, point to an excessive, even extreme, use of force against demonstrators. There must be an independent, impartial, effective and credible investigation of the conduct of the security forces. Anyone found guilty of wrongdoing should be held to account,” she said.

“Egypt’s security forces are bound by the rule of law and must act with full respect for human rights, including the rights to free speech and peaceful assembly,” she said.

“Reports of attacks on public buildings and religious sites by opponents of the government are also extremely worrying and those responsible for such criminal acts should be brought to justice,” Pillay added.

“There have also been allegations that some protesters were heavily armed. Demonstrators must also ensure that their gatherings remain peaceful,” the UN human rights chief said.

"Wednesday’s tragic events highlight the degree to which Egypt is becoming dangerously polarized,” she said, pointing to reports of violent incidents in several parts of the country in response to the clearing of sit-ins in Cairo.

“As the UN Secretary-General said in his statement, violence and incitement from any side are not the answers to Egypt’s challenges. What is needed is genuinely inclusive reconciliation. I therefore appeal again to all sides to engage in urgent dialogue to avoid further violence and hate speech, with the aim of restoring constitutional order through free and democratic elections,” she said.

Reacting to the announcement by the authorities of a month-long national state of emergency, the High Commissioner stressed that it should be implemented in conformity with Egypt’s obligations under international law. In this context, it is of utmost importance that the rule of law and human rights be respected and protected.  

Pillay said that under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Egypt is a party, even in times of emergency no one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his or her life or be subject to torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

“Everyone deprived of their liberty must be treated humanely and afforded all the judicial guarantees under international law,” the High Commissioner said.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 


UN: UNHCR Chief Urges Better Support For 13 Million 'Exhausted' And Displaced Syrians
UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, has urged greater international support for the more than 13 million Syrians who’ve been displaced in the past 10 years...More>>


>UN: Recent Kosovo-Serbia Tensions Could ‘Unravel Steady But Fragile Progress’

Tensions over vehicle licence plates and anti-smuggling operations, between authorities in Kosovo and Serbia, in recent weeks, may contribute to unravelling “steady but fragile progress made in rebuilding trust among communities” in Kosovo and Serbia...
More>>

ITUC: Nobel Prize In Economics Explodes Minimum Wage And Jobs Myth

The prize was awarded to David Card, Joshua Angrist and Guido Imbens for real-world research in the 1990s that demonstrated, empirically, that the idea touted by conservative economists that higher minimum wages mean fewer jobs is not based on fact... More>>

Focus On: UN SDGs


UN: With Clock Ticking, Sustainable Transport Key To Global Goals
From electric cars and buses to zero-carbon producing energy sources, new and emerging technologies along with innovative policy changes, are critical for combating climate change. But to be effective, they must ensure that transport strategies benefit everyone, including the poorest... More>>


COP26: 7 Climate Action Highlights To Remember

A September to remember, a pivotal month for climate action commitments. From the United Nations General Assembly week to the final pre-COP meeting, last month was an important time to build momentum... More>>


UN: Global Leaders Set To Act To Increase Energy Access While Reducing Emissions At First UN Energy Summit In 40 Years

Significant new commitments for financing clean energy, increasing renewables and improving access to electricity are expected to be announced on 24 September at the UN High-level Dialogue on Energy... More>>