Egyptian President decree an affront to rule of law and independence of judges

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Mohamed Morsy, President of the Arab Republic of Egypt addressing General Assembly delegates

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay is appealing to Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi, to reconsider the decree he issued last week.

The High Commissioner says a number of measures contained in the decree are incompatible with international human rights law.

The decree in part states that all decisions taken by the President since he took office, could not be revoked by any authority, including the judiciary, until a new constitution is approved and a new parliament elected.

Ms Pillay says placing the president's actions outside of judicial scrutiny was a violation of the rule of law and an encroachment to the independence of the judiciary.

Rupert Colville is the spokesperson for the UN Human Rights Office.

"In a letter addressed to the Egyptian president on Tuesday the High Commissioner welcomed the efforts to reach out to the judiciary and political parties, but believes they are not yet sufficient to prevent Egypt reneging on binding principles laid down in the two overarching international human rights treaties – the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. In her letter to the President, the High Commissioner stressed that she fully understands the difficult challenges the Egyptian President is facing, but urged him to reconsider the Declaration so that the various problems it was designed to address can be confronted by measures that are "in conformity with international human rights principles"."

The High Commissioner says she is worried about the unfolding events in Egypt and warned against taking divisive measures such as adopting a Constitution that may lead to further escalation and tension.

Patrick Maigua United Nations Radio, Geneva.

Duration 1.45″

 

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