Amnesty International Press Release
For Immediate Release
Friday, February 11, 2011
Amnesty International Rebukes Egyptian Leaders for "Failed" Response to Protest Demands
Organization Says Leaders’ Efforts to Discourage Protests are "Unacceptable"
Contact: Suzanne Trimel, 212-633-4150, [email protected]
(London) — Amnesty International today called Egypt’s leaders "irresponsible" for ignoring the protesters’ demands for freedom and dignity and said Vice President Suleiman’s effort to discourage the protests are “unacceptable.” The human rights organization criticized the government’s complete failure to heed urgent calls for human rights protections for their citizens.
Salil Shetty, Amnesty International’s Secretary General, said President Hosni Mubarak and Vice President Omar Suleiman in their speeches Thursday “utterly failed to respond to the demands of the protesters. It is irresponsible that neither of the two statements gave a commitment whatsoever to immediate human rights reform.”
"One human rights measure announced by the president was the cancellation of Article 179 of the constitution, a measure we have long called for, as it entrenches violations relating to arrests, detentions and trials. But he failed to give any timeline for when that would happen," said Shetty.
“The language used by Vice President Suleiman to try to discourage protesters from making their voices heard is also unacceptable. It is ironic that a government which has fired on and allowed thugs to attack peaceful protesters is attempting to persuade protesters to go home by warning of ‘chaos’ and ‘destruction.’"
"Those now in power should view the activism on the streets of Cairo and other cities not as a threat, but as an opportunity to consign the systematic abuses of the past to history. Human rights reform must begin now."
Amnesty International is a Nobel Peace Prize-winning grassroots activist organization with more than 3 million supporters, activists and volunteers in more than 150 countries campaigning for human rights worldwide. The organization investigates and exposes abuses, educates and mobilizes the public, and works to protect people wherever justice, freedom, truth and dignity are denied.
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Amnesty International is organizing a Global Day of Action on Egypt for Saturday, February 12 in 20 countries and in cities across the United States. For more information about human rights and protesting in Egypt please visit:
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Whether in a high-profile conflict or a forgotten corner of the globe, Amnesty International, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, campaigns for justice, freedom and dignity for all and seeks to mobilize public support to build a better world.