High Commissioner raises concerns about Egyptian draft law

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Protests during 2011 revolution in Egypt

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay has raised concerns about the current version of a draft law on civil society in Egypt.

She is worried that the provisions are not in line with international standards.

She warns that if a law is passed that severely constrains the activities of civil society organizations, whose constructive contributions will be crucial to the country's future direction as an inclusive democracy, it will mark a further blow to the hopes and aspirations that were raised during the 2011 "Egyptian Revolution".

Rupert Coleville, Spokesman for the High Commissioner, says civil society will be a very crucial element in the creation of a new, more equitable and democratic Egyptian society.

“We hope they get it right since it has a beneficial impact. But the drafts we've seen to this point have a number of problematic elements. For example, oversight powers given to security agencies. So the Interior Ministry and National Security Ministry. That's very problematic because these ministries are the ones that historically have been accused of some of the worst abuses by some of the authorities in Egypt. So it's like putting the fox in charge of the chickens.”

Ms. Pillay calls this a "critical moment" with mounting concerns about a range of issues.

Gerry Adams, United Nations.

Duration: 1’23″

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