UN officials urge Egyptian authorities to respect rule of law, human rights

26 July 2013

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the United Nations human rights chief have voiced growing concern about developments in Egypt and called on authorities to ensure respect for the rule of law and international human rights standards.

“The Secretary-General once again urges all sides to act with maximum restraint. He supports the rights of all Egyptians to hold peaceful protests. He calls on the interim authorities to ensure law and order along with guaranteeing the safety and security of all Egyptians,” Mr. Ban’s spokesperson said in a statement issued last night.

“The Secretary-General renews his calls for a meaningful national dialogue and an inclusive reconciliation process. The aim must be to chart a peaceful path towards a full return of civilian control, constitutional order, and democratic governance,” the statement added.

The crisis in the country escalated earlier this month, resulting in the Egyptian military deposing President Mohamed Morsy amid widespread protests in which dozens of people were killed and wounded. The Constitution was then suspended and an interim government set up.

Mr. Ban urged the interim authorities to end arbitrary arrests and other reported forms of harassment. Mr. Morsy and Muslim Brotherhood leaders currently in detention should be released or have their cases reviewed transparently without delay, he added.

Meanwhile, speaking at a press conference in Geneva today, the spokesperson for UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay stressed that it is extremely important that security forces in Egypt do not resort to excessive use of force.

“People have a right to make peaceful protests,” said Rupert Colville. “All measures taken by the authorities must fully respect the law and international human rights standards. We will be closely following how the situation develops.”

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