CAIRO, Egypt (AP) – Egypt rejected a report by human rights group Amnesty International that accused the country of systematic abuse against prisoners, calling it inaccurate and unfair.
Amnesty’s report Wednesday said 18,000 people were in Egyptian jails without trial, some for more than a decade. It said torture was pervasive in police stations and prisons. “The Egyptian government is offended by the latest report which included inaccurate and biased information about the state of human rights in Egypt,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement Thursday.
London-based Amnesty warned rights abuses were likely to worsen because of constitutional amendments approved last month that suspended civil rights in terror investigations and enabled the state to prosecute civilians in military courts.
The Foreign Ministry said Egypt has made “real and continuous achievements in the field of human rights,” citing the establishment of the National Council of Human Rights, a state-appointed body chaired by former U.N. Secretary-General Boutros Boutros Ghali.
The council has been accused by local rights groups of failing to challenge the state. But last month it raised eyebrows by accusing authorities of numerous violations in the referendum on the constitutional amendments.
The Amnesty report said it feared that a new anti-terrorism law, still being drafted, would “entrench patterns of abuse witnessed in the past 40 years.” The Foreign Ministry criticized Amnesty for giving “an advance opinion about a law that hasn’t been shaped yet.”