UN human rights office to send mission to Egypt after transition

Written by: Bno
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UNITED NATIONS: The United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) on Wednesday announced it plans to send a mission to Egypt following the government transition.

The mission will consist in sending a team of officials to establish contact with local authorities in order to asses the human rights situation following the change of leadership in the troubled North African country.

"High Commissioner Navi Pillay has formally asked the Egyptian Government to accept a mission from her office to travel as soon as possible to Egypt to establish contacts with governmental officials," said Anders Kompass, Director of OHCHR's Division of Field Operations and Technical Cooperation.

The OHCR mission will also meet with representatives of civil society and local and international human rights groups. The mission will work on finding ways of facilitating the transition to democracy in Egypt taking into account human rights. OHCHR expects that the mission will depart in the coming days.

Hosni Mubarak, who led Egypt as president for three decades, stepped down last Friday after weeks of anti-government protests by crowds calling for greater democracy and respect of human rights.

This week, the Egyptian Higher Military Council appointed a committee in charge of proposing constitutional amendments to address demands of the people. The army took control of Egypt after Mubarak stepped down and announced that it will run the country temporarily for six months or until elections are held.

The military council also dissolved the parliament and suspended the constitution following 18 days of mass protests in Cairo and other parts of the North African country. All government officials are now reporting to the military high command in the same way it reported to Mubarak before he resigned.

"Things are still unfolding in Egypt. The High Commissioner has been very clear about her wish to be with the Egyptian people in these times of difficult change," said Mona Rishmawi, the head of OHCHR’s Rule of Law, Equality and Non-Discrimination Branch. "These sudden changes are positive, euphoric, excellent, but they are difficult in terms of governance."


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