Politicized Human Rights Organizations: A ‘Stab’ against Human Rights Principles
“A message to the High Commissioner for Human Rights”, this is the title of the previous article which had a great echo and output in different circles since it raises many questions. In this article, I tried in a brief message to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to present a different point of view about the real condition of human rights in Egypt which they know about from politicized organizations to ‘slap’ Egypt and distort its image. Also I talked about the work mechanisms of these organizations which violate the policy of the United Nations and the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in addition to the well-established human rights principles. I added that there is an exaggeration, lying and politicization of the file without following the approach of investigating the provided information. Moreover, I showed how politicization of human rights work has impeded other human rights activists who search for objectivity in their work without intimidation and without defending terrorists with extremist thought and mentality which violate all human rights. I also sent a message which is ignored by a lot of us which is that the real crisis for human rights activists in Egypt is the public refusal for them and for the human rights work and that the Egyptian people have very bad mental image about human rights activists and I explained the reasons for that.
As this file is important and as I am now doing researches and studies for it because it is important for our country, we will start series of researching and investigating articles about this crisis which will end one when human rights activists follow objectivity without intimidation and politicization of human rights work is stopped.
At the beginning I will put forth some questions for meditation and scrutiny, should we as a country whether state institutions and people and for the supreme interest of the state be interested in outside world, international media and international circles? What is the international public opinion and mental image about Egypt? Do we live in an isolated island from the world? Do we have many joint interests with other countries which require a good image about Egypt? Is Egypt negatively affected by a false negative report about human rights conditions in Egypt which is believed and accepted and introduced by committees and special rapporteurs in international forums? Is it for Egypt’s interest to improve its relationship with the international media? I will leave the answer to the readers’ awareness. But I will raise another questions, can politicized civil society organizations build negative image about Egypt? Can the file of human rights affect us? The answer is YES.
So we should face lying and deception with objectivity and truth. You can deny lying with saying the neutral abstract fact; then you will be heard and can face lies of politicized organizations. But the solution is not such simple one, yet we should firstly understand the work mechanisms of those bodies concerned with human rights all over the world and how the outside world works? For example, the United Nations have the High Commissioner for Human Rights which is the main body in the United Nation which is concerned with human rights and has special rapporteurs for each file related to human rights. The most important work mechanism is Universal Periodical Review (UPR) which is important for us and for all countries in the world as it is a measure of reviewing human rights records for all member states in the United Nations. UPR aims at improving human rights conditions in all member states which are 193 countries all over the world. So human rights conditions are reviewed to have “Results Report” where recommendations are concluded and directed to each state so that the state should implement these recommendations before the next UPR to present its situation in front of all states. Each state starts with reviewing its report and responding to the last recommendations then the speech is to other states to have recommendations or comments or to take about violations against all what is stated in the Universal Declaration for Human Rights and the principles of the United Nations (this means that each state has the right to comment on the human rights condition of any state and that the state being commented should listen to all comments and recommendations). Hence, I was to clarify for the reader that the crisis is not Egypt and that the other countries have right to face us and comment our condition and this is not an interference in our affairs as others believe. In addition, Egypt also has the right to recommend and comment on human rights conditions of any state. There is no country all over the world where there is no violations as I said in my previous article (The World does not have a Utopia) and so nothing is wrong with Egypt. There are some Egyptian human rights organizations which monitor the addle situation and condition of human rights in Qatar, Turkey, Ethiopia and other countries and issue reports and statements and call for the protection of the violated human rights in these countries (our business is theirs and theirs is ours).
But to whom they base in preparing the UPR?
1- A national report composed of 20 pages about the condition of human rights by the state to be reviewed.
2- 10 pages by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights include information from bodies of treaties and special measures and UN Agencies such as UNPD and UNICEF.
3- Summary of 10 pages by the High Commissioner for Human Rights includes information from the civil society.
So here is the role of civil society organizations which transfer information which is supposed to be investigated by evidences, data and figures. The special rapporteurs of commissions and committees in the High Commission for Human Rights receive information from civil society organizations, these commissions do not care who provides this information and what their fund resources are, yet they look at the provided information and figures. So if they take and follow a report from a politicized lying organization, this indicates a defect and weakness from human rights organizations which are supposed to provide truth with figures, data and information. In many files, the special rapporteurs do not find except politicized reports. Then what is the sin of this rapporteur? As he/she does not have other information from other civil society organizations which say truth, so we cannot blame special rapporteurs as they have to read and listen to all what is provided to them and there is no priority for an organization over another or a report over another. The decisive criterion here is figures, information and evidences and the politicized organizations are perfect in writing which guarantees the influential plot, in addition they are perfect in presenting and narrating the lying numbers and evidences. The question here is that what is impeding the many other organizations which work objectively and do not follow the approach of politicized, subjective unprofessional organizations?
After investigation and researching, I found difficulty in getting information and numbers so when they find it difficult to get such information there is nothing to be provided to commissions and special rapporteurs and consequently such politicized organizations find their way in front of special rapporteurs. For example, Muslim Brotherhood organization claim that the number of prisoners in Egypt is 60 thousand and I do not know from where they got this information about such number while I completely know that they do not have tools of investigations to verify these numbers. But is it enough to say that this lying number to the concerned bodies or shall I provide other numbers and classify them (criminal prisoners, terrorism prisoner and others) in addition to providing information supported with numbers and data about all released people by committees of presidential and health pardon and conditional release as recently some have been released? Muslim Brotherhood organizations drawled the health condition of prisoners, so is it enough to say it is a lie or should I provide information about the number of surgeries done for prisoners (they are many).
This is the real role of civil society organizations if they want to have a role in international arena and do not leave the arena in front of the politicized organizations and they should exert efforts for investigation and verification and getting information. Yet state institutions should facilitate accessing such information and create communication channels to get the truth so that it is easy for civil society to present facts supported with evidences and then fact will be there in international arena and the role of unprofessional politicized organization will be limited and decreased. With fact and numbers these lying deceptive politicized organizations will be faced and their lie will not last for long and civil society organizations should exert more efforts, should investigate to provide truth and should be perfect in presenting information and that state institutions should help and support them with information… continued.