Egypt's parliament – the House of Representatives – slammed Friday a European Parliament (EP) resolution on human rights in Egypt, describing it as “arrogant,” “politicised” and including a host of incorrect and “misguided information.”
"This is also a disappointing resolution which does not reflect an objective view of the situation of human rights in Egypt," the House statement said, adding that "the resolution shows again that the European Parliament insists on adopting an arrogant approach toward Egypt, giving itself the right to use a host of sheer lies to deliver a judgment regarding some recent developments inside Egypt.”
"This is a grave interference with the internal affairs of a sovereign country and a breach of UN conventions, and so we cannot ignore it because it lacks credibility and good intentions," said the House statement.
“It is also highly deplorable that the European Parliament's resolution was adopted and declared without a prior consultation with the Egyptian House of Representatives,” the statement said.
On Thursday, the EP released a resolution calling for the "the immediate and unconditional release of British-Egyptian human rights defender and peaceful activist Alaa Abdel-Fattah,” and ending what it called the "suppression of peaceful dissent in Egypt."
It also called for strong measures to address what it calls a "human rights crisis in Egypt," lamenting that "Egypt did not modify any relevant piece of legislation ahead of its hosting of [the UN Climate Change Conference (COP27) in November]."
The EP's resolution also alleged that a state of emergency has been in place in Egypt since 2017 and that children could face the death penalty.
In response, the House's statement said the "EP's resolutions about the situation of human rights in Egypt are always politicised, adopting a policy of unconstructive defamation that is based on sheer lies and misguided information."
"As for the state of emergency in Egypt, let the EP know that this state was abrogated in October 2021 and has not been renewed since then," said the House statement.
As for EP's claims that children in Egypt face the death penalty, "we would like to clarify that the child law completely bans the execution of children or sentencing them to life in prison or hard labour."
"As for prisoner Alaa Abdel-Fattah, which the EP calls an activist, let us note that Abdel-Fattah was not arbitrarily detained. Abdel-Fattah is not a detainee, but a prisoner who was convicted of criminal charges and as a result and after facing a fair trial he was sent to five years in prison. He was given all the rights and guarantees to defend himself in a fair trial. Not to mention that his family members are allowed to visit him in prison on a regular basis.”
“As for EP's claims about the torture of prisoner Ayman Hadhoud to death, let us note that Hadhoud died on 5 March, 2022, and that after examination by the official coroner and upon the request of general prosecution authorities, the department of forensic medicine concluded that Hadhoud had died from a chronic heart disease, and that his body was clear from any torture traces or that he was subjected to any kind of violence.”
The House's statement also responded to the EP resolution’s claim that hundreds had been recently arrested.
"The fact is that the freedom of some of these is restricted by force of judicial rulings which were issued by Egyptian courts after fair trials.
“Others are remanded into custody pending investigation by prosecution authorities and in line with internationally recognised laws regulating criminal procedures. So the EP's resolution in this respect represents a blatant meddling with the independence of Egyptian prosecution and judicial authorities and in violation of international conventions guaranteeing the independence of the judiciary," said the House statement.
It also argued that "it is clear from the above that the EP is completely unaware of the recent developments in Egypt or that it ignores them on purpose and for politicised reasons."
"We think that all know that Egypt has released a new promising strategy for human rights and that state authorities are currently implementing this strategy on the ground and that the Egyptian state is completely committed to implementing all international conventions on economic, social, civilian and political rights it has signed in this respect," said the House statement.
It also deplores that EP's resolution ignored Egypt's recent successful hosting of COP27 in Sharm El-Sheikh.
"By contrast, the EP's resolution is trying to tarnish this success, claiming that Egyptian authorities have harassed activists affiliated with the Egyptian civil society during the conference," the statement said.
As a result, the statement said “Egypt's parliament strongly condemns the EP's systematic targeting of Egypt, to the extent of exploiting its hosting of the COP27 conference to deliver false judgments.”
"Let us advise the EP that instead of using undocumented and misguided information about the situation of human rights in Egypt, it is better for its members to focus on the challenges facing human rights in the European Union countries," said the statement.
“We see there is a systematic violation of human rights among EU countries such as racism against immigrants, refugees and minorities; the sickly growth of bad phenomena of Islamphobia, hate speech, violence against women, street violence and crimes against children, it added.”
The House statement concluded by stating "the Egyptian parliament is keen to extend the hands of friendship to all partners, including European ones, appreciating their interest in the internal conditions of Egypt as a country with considerable political weight and the cornerstone of stability in the Middle East region."
"But we caution that this interest should be based on mutual respect and cooperation and without the policies of arrogance, hegemony and intervention into internal affairs," said the statement.
It also clarified that the improvement of the situation of human rights in Egypt is a national objective that aims to achieve the interests of Egyptian citizens and their aspirations for a decent life based on respect of rights and freedoms.
"And in this respect let us refer to the national dialogue which is being prepared to include all political and civilian forces irrespective of their ideologies and platforms," said the statement.
"This national dialogue has drafted an institutional framework for the Egyptian president, through which he can exercise his constitutional rights in pardoning some activists through the Presidential Pardon Committee and in observation of transparency and openness."
"This shows that the state is sincerely interested in drawing up policies by gaining consensus from all forces, particularly in economic, political and social areas and in others related to the field of rights and freedoms, and that the Egyptian House of Representatives will spare no effort achieving these objectives either through drafting new bills or amending the existing legislation on human rights, in addition to exercising its supervisory powers over state authorities and without need for external intervention as far as the Egyptian people is the major source of all powers."