Egypt’s State Information Service (SIS), headed by Diaa Rashwan, released a statement criticising Saturday’s coverage by international human rights organisations and NGOs of recent incidents in Egypt, describing it as “biased and politicised.”
“Some international human rights’ recent handling of the Egyptian affairs can only be described contradicted and subjective, and tends to adopt allegations that are not based on any genuine human rights reference,” the SIS statement said in reference to recent remarks by the Amnesty International.
“Cairo, Egypt’s capital, was on lockdown,” Amnesty International tweet last Friday, adding that the Egyptian security forces “set up checkpoints across the city and blocked off all roads leading to Tahrir square [downtown] and shut four nearby metro stations, preventing people from exercising their right to freedom of movement and peaceful assembly.”
The SIS denied all these reports, saying that the Chairperson of the Egyptian National Railways announced the closure of the aforementioned Metro stations for maintenance. “Even if this measure was taken to protect the national security, it does not contradict to the right to freedom of movement guaranteed by international human rights, which also gave countries the right to place restrictions on these rights to protect their national security,” the SIS urged.
The SIS added that article 12 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights states that freedom of expression and similar rights can be restricted only when necessary to protect national security, public order, or health.
“This paradox compels any observer of Amnesty International’s stance towards Egypt to question real motives behind issuing such accusations that are not based on any convincing evidence or proof, especially that the organisation did not direct the same accusation against [official reactions against protests] in France, Britain or any other country, despite the similarity between both situations with different details,” the statement concluded.
Also, on 24 September, Amnesty International said that world leaders at the General Assembly of the United Nations in New York last week must look into allegations of Egyptian authorities repressing protestors and those representing any opposition.