Policy Areas

Recent developments in Egypt

Norway has aligned with the declaration by the Presidency of the EU on the measures taken by the Egyptian authorities against civil society activists, published in Vienna and Brussels on 18 May 2006.

31/05/2006 :: The declaration reads as follows: “The EU has followed with concern developments in Egypt, where several demonstrations have taken place in the context of the recent prolongation of the State of Emergency in Egypt as well as the ongoing disciplinary proceedings against two Egyptian judges for, inter alia, criticism relating to the conduct of the Egyptian Parliamentarian elections of 2005. The scale of the police operation and the harsh manner in which these demonstrations have been policed appear as disproportionate.

The European Union expresses its concern that many persons taking part in these demonstrations have been arrested and are being held in custody. The European Union is particularly concerned that, according to lawyers of the detainees, a number of those held have been arrested under the provisions of the Emergency Law, for instance without an arrest warrant which is a procedure only authorized under the State of Emergency.

The European Union notes the decision to extend the State of Emergency for another two years, together with the announcement that it will not be extended beyond 2008. The European Union recalls the pledges of political reform contained in the election program of President Mubarak in 2005, especially the promise to lift the State of Emergency.

Following the prolongation of the State of Emergency, the government of Egypt stated that the State of Emergency would not be used against political opponents but only to combat terrorism. The European Union urges the Egyptian authorities to limit the application of the law on the State of Emergency to cases of terrorism and to end the State of Emergency as soon as possible.

The European Union calls on the Egyptian government to allow civil society activists and other political forces to express themselves freely, to permit peaceful demonstrations and freedom of assembly and to maintain public order by transparent and proportionate legal procedure.

The Acceding Countries Bulgaria and Romania, the Candidate Countries Turkey, Croatia * and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia*, the Countries of the Stabilisation and Association Process and potential candidates Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia and Montenegro, and the EFTA countries Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway, members of the European Economic Area, as well as the Republic of Moldova, align themselves with this declaration.”

* Croatia and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia continue to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process.


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