Egyptian participants in the ‘Terrorism and Human Rights’ seminar held in the headquarters of Human Rights Council in Geneva sharply criticised the silence of the international community against the countries that support terrorism in Egypt and the Middle East.
The participants pointed out that terrorism puts a lot of pressure on the political and economic conditions in Egypt and on the human rights situation.
The seminar was organised by the Egyptian Rights Foundation (Huqoqiyat) in cooperation with the Egyptian Centre for Strategic Studies (ECSS) and the Women and Development Association in Alexandria.
Said Abdel-Hafez, director of the Development and Human Rights Forum, said in his statement during the seminar that the human rights issue in Egypt is witnessing remarkable progress.
Abdel-Hafez said that he is one of those who believe in the need to continue discussions with Egyptian institutions to urge them to improve human rights conditions in Egypt.
Noha Bakr, a member of the advisory board of the ECSS, said in her statement that the reform process in Egypt is facing many challenges, most importantly terrorism.
Bakr warned that thousands of jihadists have moved into Libya, and that there is a threat that they may move into Egypt, and thus it is important to intensify efforts to secure the Egyptian borders.
She added that the state is trying to fight terrorism by altering extremist religious discourse through measures like modifying school curricula and establishing an observatory to track deviant fatwas and opinions on the internet in multiple languages.
Ahmed Eliba, an expert at the security and defence programme at the ECSS, said that hundreds of tunnels in Sinai that were used to smuggle weapons and terrorists into Sinai have been destroyed.
Eliba stressed that Egypt has succeeded in undermining terrorism and that it will continue eliminating what remains of the phenomenon.
He also asserted that the strategic plan that has been used to deal with the situation in Sinai focuses on both development and combating terrorism, and that Egypt is respecting the rules of international law and human rights values.
Dina El-Sarafi, a researcher at the Egyptian Centre For Economic Studies, said that extremism and terrorism are a threat to social security and safety, and that terrorism cannot be linked to any religion and cannot be justified in any way.
She stressed that eliminating terrorism is a social issue and that facing it requires the participation of all the forces and institutions of society.