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The Egyptian Committee for Fact Finding and Countering Corruption issues its first statement

(EOHR/IFEX) – 3 February 2011 - A number of representatives of civil society organisations in addition to a number of human rights activists gathered at the headquarters of the Egyptian Organization for Human Rights (EOHR) on Thursday, 3 February 2011, to discuss the current situation in Egypt and to come up with adequate mechanisms to help the demonstrators have their demands met as soon as possible. They also discussed recommended mechanisms to punish all those responsible for the violations since the start of the demonstrations on 25 January. The group then declared the formation of "The Egyptian Committee for Fact Finding and Countering Corruption".

The group of organisations recommended the following:

1- supporting the demands of the Egyptian people, for they are part and parcel of the international legitimacy of human rights and, more specifically, of the rights protected under the Egyptian constitution and the relevant international human rights conventions (right to life, right to peaceful protest and right to freedom of opinion and expression);

2- condemning all forms of violations that protestors and human rights activists are exposed to, in addition to violations directed against journalists and reporters of news agencies and satellite outlets in Tahrir Square and in all the governorates of Egypt. Fact finding missions must be formed to observe, document and determine those responsible for these violations in order to take the necessary measures to punish them for their crimes. The commission will also be responsible for contacting the International Red Cross to deliver food and medicine to the stranded demonstrators;

3- taking all the necessary measures on all fronts to punish the accused through the following:
a. approaching the Council for Human Rights and the International Criminal Court (ICC);
b. approaching the Egyptian general prosecution office;
c. forming a popular tribunal to deal with those responsible for these violations, particularly the previous and the current ministers of interior.

4- taking all legal measures to form an ad-hoc judicial tribunal to try the corrupt figures responsible for looting public funds and for using funds to sponsor campaigns of thugs to commit violence against the demonstrators in Tahrir Square;

5- punishing the heads of the Egyptian state media for inciting violence against demonstrators and for manipulating the public and misrepresenting the facts;

6- demanding that the army immediately intervene to stop the attacks on the demonstrators in Tahrir Square and in all governorates to protect them according to their legitimate right to peaceful protest;

7- involving all civil society institutions in the dialogue with the government on the future of the country concerning the promotion of human rights and the development of democracy as one of the basic demands aspired for;

8- immediately releasing all detainees and speeding up the establishment of a civil democratic country that respects and enhances human rights and responds to the demands of all political and societal groups in addition to issuing a new law on pursuing political rights that would guarantee the freedom and integrity of the elections through full judicial supervision;

9- condemning the violations against Hisham Mubarak Center, which was besieged by security forces after which some people working there were arrested. Such an attack constitutes a violation of the rights to assembly and organisation protected under the constitution and the relevant international human rights conventions that are part of the Egyptian domestic law, according to Article 151 of the constitution. We also condemn the incidents of forced disappearance of some human rights activists.

The Egyptian Committee for Fact Finding and for Countering Corruption (ECFFCC) includes EOHR, the Center of the Independence of the Judiciary and Lawyers, the Egyptian Center for Women's Rights, One World Organization for Development, Al-Mahrousa Center, the Center of Alternative Studies, the Organization of Combating Land Mines and Human Rights, and the Organization of Observers Unlimited, in addition to a number of public figure including: Dr. Mustapha Kamel Al-Sayyid, a political science professor at Cairo University; Ms. Farida Al-Naqqash, the editor-in-chief of Al-Ahaly Newspaper; Dr. Gamal Zahran, an ex-parliament member; Mr. Yahia Qalash, the General Secretary of the Syndicate of Journalists; Dr. Mustapha Al-Nasharty, the economics professor in Misr University for Sciences and Technology (MUST); Mr. Ahmed Abd Al-Hafeez, the lawyer of cassation; and some political figures including Mr. Hussain Abd Al-Raziq, the ex-General Secretariat of Al-Tagamu' Party and Mr. Essam Shiha, a member in the high committee of Al-Wafd Party. There is a current process of inviting a number of human rights organization and public figures to join the ECFFCC.

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