NCHR calls for abolition of death penalty

National Human Rights Council (NHRC) Undersecretary Mona Zulfiqar has called for abolishing the use of capital punishment in Egypt. "Prisons have become more congested than traffic," she said, calling for the wider use of release-on-parole.

At a meeting of parliament’s human rights committee–held to discuss a recently-released NCHR report on rights violations in Egypt that will soon be sent to the Geneva-based High Commission for Human Rights–Zulfiqar complained about the high number of pending lawsuits against local writers and intellectuals. "This contravenes the national constitution, which guarantees freedom of expression for all," she said.

Parliamentary and Legal Affairs Minister Mufid Shehab, for his part, voiced objections to the outright abolition of the use of capital punishment. "The death sentence serves as a deterrent to those who would commit premeditated murder," he said. "The practice is supported by both rationale and extensive deliberations."

At the meeting, Muslim Brotherhood representative Hussein Ibrahim criticized the NCHR, which he described as  "ineffective."

Shehab defended the council, which he said was "only an advisory body, the role of which is to write up reports and offer recommendations to the government."

Translated from the Arabic Edition.

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