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February 16, 11

NEWS / UN human rights office plans to send mission to Egypt after transition

16 February 2011 – The United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) said today it plans to send a team of officials to Egypt to establish contact with the authorities there and assess the human rights situation following the recent leadership change in the country.

“We can inform you that the High Commissioner [Navi Pillay] has now formally asked the Egyptian Government to accept a mission from her office to travel as soon as possible to Egypt to establish contacts with governmental officials,” Anders Kompass, the Director of OHCHR’s Division of Field Operations and Technical Cooperation, told a news conference in Geneva.

The planned OHCHR mission would also meet with representatives of civil society and local and international human rights groups in an effort find ways of facilitating the transition to democracy in Egypt in a way that takes human rights into account, Mr. Kompass said.

“We are positively hopeful that we will be able to dispatch a mission in the coming days,” he added.

Hosni Mubarak, who led Egypt as president for three decades, stepped down last Friday after weeks of anti-government protests by crowds calling for greater democracy and respect of human rights.

“Things are still unfolding in Egypt. The High Commissioner has been very clear about her wish to be with the Egyptian people in these times of difficult change,” said Mona Rishmawi, the head of OHCHR’s Rule of Law, Equality and Non-Discrimination Branch.

“These sudden changes are difficult for anybody. They are positive, euphoric, excellent, but they are difficult in terms of governance,” she said.




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