Hafez Abu Seada, the representative of the Egyptian Human Rights Organization, called for amending the laws to be more compatible with the international laws and covenants of universal human rights. He warned of sending the report on the human rights situation in Egypt to the United Nations in February 2010 without improving that situation so as to avoid dire consequences.
Abu Seada said Egypt should cancel the Emergency Act before going to the United Nations, as it confiscates all the freedoms set forth in the Constitution. He also asked to amend the Law on NGOs that causes their closing down, and stressed the need for a rule allowing the free circulation of information as the only guarantor against corruption.
He said that Article 126 of the Criminal Code, which defines the way of dealing with crimes of torture, is unconstitutional, since Egypt signed the Convention against Torture, and thus became bound to implement it.
He added that the loose laws, such as Article 98 dealing with contempt of religions, must be changed to be in line with the international law that criminalizes ‘incitement to hatred’, as the word ‘contempt’ is vague.
Abu Seada condemned trying civilians before military courts, and praised the report of the Commission on Human Rights on the situation in the prisons, calling for more efforts to detect all cases of violations of human rights in places of detention.
Hussein Ibrahim, Vice-President of the Muslim Brotherhood bloc in Parliament, supported Abu Seada.