Egyptian Organization for Human Rights (Cairo)

23 November 2012

Egypt: EOHR Calls Upon President Morsi to Reverse His Decision

Photo: Xinhua/STR
An Egyptian protester hurls stones at riot police. Egypt's powerful Muslim Brotherhood called nationwide demonstrations in support of Islamist President Mohamed Morsi in his showdown with the judges over the path to a new constitution.

press release

The Egyptian Organization for Human Rights (EOHR) rejects the constitutional declaration issued on November 22, 2012. The declaration came as a serious violation against the rule of law. The declaration creates a new Egyptian pharaoh after January 25th revolution, which was aimed at confrontation of the authoritarian ruling.

The declaration included seven main points including reopening the lawsuits of those who killed or injured the revolutionary people during the revolution. According to the declaration, all the presidential decisions are immune against any challenges raised by any entity.

The presidential decisions cannot be also suspended by any entity and all the current lawsuits against the presidential decision are now archived. The working period of the National Constitutional Assembly is extended to be eight months instead of six, end on February 12, 2013.

EOHR stated that this declaration is an alarm to the Egyptian people telling them that Egypt is going towards one of the worst dictatorial eras. Although, reopening the lawsuits of the revolution's victims is a demand of all the Egyptian groups, doing so without additional evidences is encroaching into the juridical power and a serious violation to the international standards on the independence of judiciary particularly the Universal Declaration on the Independence of Justice issued by Montreal Conference in 1983. The president should have formed the truth and reconciliation commission instead.

Immune of the presidential president is a decision has not been taken even by president Mubarak; how president Morsi could do it after the Egyptian revolution. It abuses the balance of powers in Egypt and creates a new Egyptian pharaoh.

The replacement of the prosecutor general is not constitutional; Retroactive application of the law is not constitutional and phrasing a constitutional article for replacing a specific person is not accepted.

The declaration makes the current National Constitutional Assembly sacred despite the political power criticism and the dissolving lawsuit. The same was done with the holy Shura Council that is not constitutionally formed.

Mr. Hafez Abu Seada, the head of EOHR, stated that the recently issued constitutional declaration violates the rule of law, separation and balance of powers and takes Egypt backwards again.

He affirmed that the Egyptian political and societal power must come together against this danger. Article 21 of the first constitutional declaration does not allow the president to have immune for his decisions.

So, the second declaration does not comply with the first and that creates constitutional disorders. He also stated that instead of having a constitution respects the international standards of human rights, the president issued a constitutional declaration that is against the philosophy of democracy.

In this regard, EOHR calls upon president Morsi to undo the recently issued constitutional declaration and protect the achievements of the Egyptian revolution in addition to maintaining the Egyptian people's unity and solidarity.

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