International Community Must Ensure Rights of Egyptians are Upheld

We, civil society organizations from across the world, strongly urge all governments, as well as regional and international organizations, to clearly and unequivocally denounce the ongoing violent crackdown against the public protests and demands for democratic reform and government accountability that have been occurring across Egypt since the 25th of January.

The Egyptian government has responded to protests with excessive force.  This has included wide-spread use of beatings, arbitrary detentions and the use of rubber bullets and allegedly live ammunition against unarmed civilians, resulting in dozens of deaths.  Moreover, a state imposed black-out on national telephone services, the internet and independent media channels has been in effect since the 28th of January, making it almost impossible for Egyptians to report any abuses occurring.  On that same day the Egyptian government began to deploy military forces in supplement of internal security forces.

Unless the international community and individual governments from all regions of the world urgently exert strong and concerted pressure on the Egyptian government to curb human rights abuses, it is very likely that repression, violence and instability in Egypt will escalate to unprecedented levels.

We call on the United Nations, its Member States and regional bodies to condemn the serious and widespread human rights violations being carried out by the Egyptian authorities against civilians throughout the country, to remind the Egyptian government of its international human rights obligations and urge it to fully respect the rights to peaceful assembly, freedom of movement and freedom of expression.

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Public statement to the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights on closing civic space

As the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights holds its 69th ordinary session, DefendDefenders and the South Sudan Human Rights Defenders Network (SSHRDN), call on the government of the Republic of South Sudan to respect the rights of its citizens to peacefully assemble, associate, and express opinions and views, strengthen the legal framework that allows citizens and civil society organizations to form and operate without any hinderances.

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