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Wed Oct 22 14:15:42 SAST 2014

UN top rights lawyer warns Egypt law could prompt crackdown

Sapa-AP | 08 May, 2013 12:39
U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay. File photo.
Image by: SUSANA VERA / REUTERS

The UN's top human rights official is urging Egypt's government to make sure that a draft law on civil groups doesn't allow a security crackdown on them.

Navi Pillay, the UN high commissioner for human rights, says the draft law "risks placing civil society under the thumb of security ministries, which have a history of abusing human rights and an interest in minimising scrutiny."

She said Wednesday that a controversial constitutional referendum in December backed by Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi also may give his government "excessive power over the judiciary" by letting him directly appoint the nation's highest judges.

Pillay also says Egyptian prosecutors are not properly investigating serious human rights abuses such as slayings, torture, rape and other sexual attacks on protesters and the poor treatment of detainees.

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