The National Council for Human Rights (NCHR) expressed deep concern regarding incidents of sectarian strife that recently erupted in Minya.
“The council’s fact-finding delegation has shown that there is an increase in sectarian violence in specific areas of the country, and that conflicts surround the construction of houses of worship or increasing social tensions,” NCHR said in a Thursday press release.
This came in a meeting held by NCHR’s president Mohamed Fayeq, deputy president Abdel Ghaffar Shukr, secretary general Mokhles Qotb, and members of the council.
“It has also been noted that bodies concerned with such problems are resorting to informal solutions, namely customary reconciliations in the favour of the strongest parties of the conflicts, often deciding to forcibly move citizens from their houses and villages,” NCHR continued, stressing on the need to reinforce laws that guarantee citizenship rights.
The council said it will send a detailed report to the presidency and other concerned authorities.
On a different note, the NCHR raised the issue of increasing travel bans and the procedures of their implementation, stating that citizens “are being caught by surprise while trying to travel”, and highlighting that freedom of movement is a right guaranteed by the Constitution.
The NCHR called on authorities to apply legal procedures in travel ban decisions. The decision has to be based on a judicial order and have a specific time frame. Those who are banned from traveling should be notified on-time, so that they can practice their right of appealing such decisions before court.
Moreover, the meeting discussed complaints regarding deteriorating conditions and lack of healthcare in prisons, in addition to the lack of application of prison regulations, and the negligence of state authorities to respond to NCHR’s request to visit and inspect prisons.