Ambassador Ahmed Fathallah was re-elected to the United Nations Human Rights Committee after winning elections that saw 26 candidates compete for nine seats, said Foreign Ministry spokesperson Ahmed Abu Zaid on Thursday.
Fathallah was elected to the committee in 2008 and will serve a new term for the period of 2017-2021.
The committee consists of independent experts, most of which have some legal experience or a background in the human rights field, that act as overseers of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
Abu Zaid explained that the elections were for nine slots out of 18 member-countries in the committee, adding that the competition was very intense.
Egypt winning a position in the committee is important as it reflects the international community’s trust in Egypt and Egypt’s commitment to its international obligations, said Abu Zaid, adding that this sends a strong message to all skeptics that condemn the status of human rights in Egypt.
Local and international non-governmental organisations have condemned reported human rights violations in Egypt in recent months. There have been a number of reports of continued rights violations inside prisons and police stations, as well as violations carried out by security forces against citizens.
*In a previous version of this article it was reported that Egypt won a seat on the UN Human Rights Council. The article has been amended to clarify that Egypt’s representative Ahmed Fathallah won a seat on the UN Human Rights Committee.