Thursday, July 3, 2014

Increased Human Rights Violations in Egypt

At least 16,000 people have been detained and at least 80 died in custody in Egypt in the past year.
Egyptian men protesting the new government
It has been one year now since the transition of a new Egyptian government has begun. As of June 8, 2014 Mohamed Morsi, the old president of Egypt, has been replaced with Abdel Fattah el-Sisi. Originally, this was intended to be an advancement for the Egyptian people, but over the course of the last year there have been more than 16,000 arrests and close to 100 deaths of protesters of the new government. According to the article, it seems as though these protesters are holding what we would accept as "peaceful" protests. That leads me to beg the question of why there are such a high number of arrests, torture, and deaths. From what I can deduce from the article, the Amnesty International organization seems to blame the new government for these violations of human rights.

Every country in the world has gone through a period of oppression of a people leading to a revolt. As of now, the new government is unfairly treating, and even killing, the supporters of the old government and Mohamed Morsi. Never will it be acceptable to oppress a group of human beings; there will never be a valid reason. In this case, thousands of people have been tortured and detained for holding peaceful protests. It is unfortunate and frankly unfair that essentially an entire political party is being targeted for its beliefs. Here in the United States, it seems as though every day there is a different group of political protesters on the White House lawn: it is something that we as Americans have become accustomed to seeing. It is stated in the documents on which our country was founded that we have the right to peacefully assemble, and this may be a right that we take for granted as a population. It is plain to see that, in other countries, people trying to evoke this right are not only suppressed, but targeted. Imagine the response this would evoke from the American people if events like this happened in our own country. Imagine how people would react if any American was "raped repeatedly by one or more security guards before being forced to sing a song in support of the [American] army" because they supported a particular political party. So, why should we hold other countries to a different standard?

Last week in class we discussed the United Nations and policies they had on human rights infringements. The United States has adopted (or already had preexisting) legislature regarding these protections of human rights. In my opinion, other countries should, when establishing a new government, especially one that the US played such an integral role in establishing, adopt some of the United Nations policies on protection of human rights into their legislature so as to avoid future human rights infringements. I've always thought that this would be a productive and progressive thing to have happen. I've weighed the possibility of this ever happening, this establishing of United Nation policies into national legislature, and I honestly think that it would be practical and possible to achieve. Certainly, it would save countries from human rights violations such as this, which is the ultimate goal. These tortures and arrests cannot continue, but furthermore, it is the violations of humans rights that have to stop.

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