Issued by CEMO Center - Paris
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A message to the High Commissioner for Human Rights

Saturday 12/December/2020 - 01:59 PM
The Reference
Basma Fouad


I express my thanks and gratitude for the humanitarian role played by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights since its establishment in 1993 and its permanent struggle for protecting and strengthening human’s right to live with dignity and freedom. You are the shield and sword for the humanity permanently. You face many violations insulting human and how much you fight so that each individual can get his/her due and deep-rooted rights as being human regardless his/her color, race and religion. In addition, you follow the approach of investigation.


So I send you my message from Egypt from the heart of Cairo, but before reading my letter please firstly put aside any previous ideas to see together the true condition and situation in Egypt. You should look and mediate from outside the scene without being a party in it. If we want to diagnose the real condition of human rights in Egypt along with the real dilemmas and their reasons, we should firstly be purified from any current or previous thoughts and ideas which may lead us to ‘foggy’ vision of the scene. As I am certain that your approach is investigating and verifying each piece of information and everything, I am certain that you will read this message neutrally and objectively then we will know the fact, find the dilemma and reason for some crises.


Dear reader, you should read these lines with an Egyptian eye and awareness. You should the scene as if you are Egyptian. So be accurate in how Egyptians see matter and how they judge things, and then you will see facts not because you are unaware of truth, but because you did not see matter with an Egyptian eye. There is a real gap between your vision and judgment and that of Egyptians’ because of difference of culture and traditions. For example, you can see some human rights issues as freedom while the majority of Egyptians see them as moral degeneracy, what you see as freedom of expression the majority of Egyptians see it as betrayal of the country, what you see against humanity like death penalty the majority of Egyptians see it as genuine and true right and if the law is not applied they will revenge (as there are tribal communities in Egypt), what you see as right to practice human rights work the majority of Egyptians see it as communicating with foreign countries and should be severely punished, the recommendations you submit the majority of Egyptians see as an interference in our internal affairs.


Dear reader, this is the fact neutrally and objectively. I am here talking about the Egyptian citizen and the Egyptian people’s vision towards some matters and not that of the regime. Unfortunately, the majority of Egyptian people have very bad image about human rights activists. According to Egyptian people’s vision, human rights activist is “betrayer, agent, communicate foreign countries and in some cases member of asleep cells of Muslim Brotherhood. We should confess that there is a real public refusal to all what is related to “human rights”. The real crisis for human rights activists in Egypt is neither the regime nor the policy of the state, yet their real crisis is the public refusal they face. If the people who are the real core of the issue and ‘the hero of the story’ refuse human rights work, then what are human rights activists defending? So we should know the reasons behind this and treat it objectively and neutrally to protect human rights work now and in the future. 


The reasons behind bad mental image of human rights activists that Egyptian people have:

Firstly: in the Egyptian people’s mind, human rights work associates with chaos which affected them as it affected the economy and the security status which they lived when they felt non-state. So Egyptian people refuse anything related to the created chaos, disorders, demonstrations and any action or activity that affects their sustenance and livelihood.

Secondly: the society refuses many human rights issues which it considers against society’s values and morals and sometimes against their religious beliefs whether Islamic or Christian.

Thirdly: human rights activists work with confrontational and transcendent manner with society as being cultured people who recognized the fact of everything even with state institutions they treat them in transcendent manner and they are correct and the most correct ones.  

Fourthly: most Egyptians consider dealing with foreign bodies and diplomats is a betrayal of the country, in addition, Egyptians see foreign funding as a suspicious work. 


So this is the vision of Egyptian people the core of the issue, hence the crisis is not the regime but it is a refusing people. Then it is important to work upon improving the mental image of human rights activists and eliminating the current bad image objectively and without falsification of facts or exaggeration in addition to be far from all what is against values and tradition of Egyptian society.


Yet we cannot complete the scene without looking at the Egyptian State and its institutions like any country in the world where there are some violation. There is no Utopia all over the world, Egypt is like any country which wants to apply law and legalize the conditions of employees in any field to practice their activities according to the laws and constitution, like any country where freedom and human rights come close to its national security, it will not be negligent in preserving its national security. Egypt has fierce war against Muslim Brotherhood Group which is classified in many countries and among the European countries as a terroristic group, so these considerations should be taken into consideration firstly.


On the other hand,

-          In many of your decisions and recommendations, you based on reports issued by organizations which are working from abroad and do not know about facts in Egypt and what is lived by Egyptians, the matter which makes them lost their credibility in investigation and monitoring.

-          Exaggeration: exaggeration is the most dangerous aspect which offends and affects human rights work and activists, exaggerating in reports, incidents and in numbers and facts, exaggeration in everything. It is logical to classify these organizations as Muslim Brotherhood or Left Organizations which service the interest of Muslim Brotherhood Group.

-          Most of human rights organizations do not work legally since law has defined the right path of NGOs and all who want to join public work, while the most ratio of organizations working in human rights field follow illegal ways for work.

-          There are organizations which catch mistakes and behave as there is revenge between them and the state.

To treat these crises, the organizations should work legally, separate human rights work from policy, work objectively and exaggeration and without bias. Also a dialogue must be opened between the state and human rights activists.


My message is to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and all who is concerned with human rights conditions in Egypt. The problem lies in misunderstanding the Egyptians’ point of view and their vision to matters and in unrespecting the Egyptian law and human rights activists as if they are stronger than the law and are strengthened by abroad. The crisis is lying and exaggeration in many files and falsifying facts and numbers. The real crisis is mixing politics with human rights work in addition to the existence of Muslim Brotherhood and their domination over many civil society organizations and also non-investigating information issued by organizations which do not work in Egypt. So we should seek to open a dialogue between human rights activists and the state instead of this hostility, we should discuss and talk instead of fighting and we should create a new generation of human rights activists who are publically accepted and work according to the new data and facts of the Egyptian state.