The Arabist

The Arabist

By Issandr El Amrani and friends.

Where is Egypt's NCHR?

In light of an article on the National Council for Human Rights that is coming out next week in MER, I am curious if anyone has seen it referenced in the past week.

More specifically, has anyone heard anything from Egypt's NCHR regarding last week's electoral violence?

My guess Abul-Magd and the boys are going to choose to handle this quietly (as they do most human rights violations). The council, which has been much debated following the release of their report in April 2005, is now yet again in the middle of a mess.

Its members like to emphasize their social credibility as a measure of their independence but silence is their weapon of choice in combating HR violations. Does anyone remember Northern Sinai last November and December when 2,500 citizens were detained (some tortured)? The NCHR was silent then and I suspect will remain so.

At least the Muslim Brotherhood and the Egyptian Organization for Human Rights (albeit EOHR was a little generous in not being to overt about women that were attacked) have stepped up to publicly condemn regime thuggery.

This flies in the face of the government claims that journalists injured were collateral damage, innocents caught up in the mix of sparing groups.

Meanwhile, the response from the NDP's influential policies secretariat has been that competition among the opposition parties will help "expand the scope of political choice for citizens".

Expanding political choices in a polity where only one real choice is available. Nicely confusing to be sure.

It is all a little too much Orwellian double-speak for Cairenes following the situation.