ANHRI condemns the policy of double standards pursued by the elected Parliament with the MPs and military figures
Cairo, 20 February 2012
ANHRI is deeply disturbed over the campaign of intimidation waged by the parliamentary majority against the parliamentary minority in the Egyptian People’s Assembly. The elected MP Ziad al-Eleimy faced an attack in the Parliament to force him to apologize to Field Marshal Tantawi, head of the Supreme Council of Armed Forces (SCAF), and the Islamist sheikh and preacher Mohamed Hassan following a speech al-Eleimy had given in a public conference in the city of Portsaid.
Al-Eleimy participated in grass-roots initiatives aiming at breaking the moral barrier between the city of Portsaid and the rest of Egypt, which emerged following the bloody events of Portsaid stadium. In his speech, al-Eleimy refused collusion with the SCAF by not holding it accountable for what had happened in Portsaid, at least politically. Emphasizing his point, al-Eleimy used a famous proverb in the Egyptian culture, deemed by some as an insult to Tantawi and Hassan.
The Parliament’s majority burst to criticize al-Eleimy’s remarks and demanded that he apologizes, however, he refused. He was subsequently referred to the Ethics Committee to force him to apologize to Tantawi and Hassan. Meanwhile, the Parliament has showed utter inaction to hold the figures of the SCAF accountable for their practices, hostile remarks against the Egyptian revolution, political liability for the deteriorating economic, political, and freedoms status, and for the death of many Egyptians due to their ongoing attempts to circumvent the revolution’s gains.
It is worth noting that Mostafa Bakri, an MP known for his closeness to the authorities and whose parliamentary membership has been impeached at courts, had previously insulted Dr. Mohamed al-Baradei and called him collaborator during a speech of his in one of the Parliament’s sessions. The Parliament showed utter passivity and no one burst to demand him to apologize, as happened with al-Eleimy. This illustrates the double standards policy pursued by the Parliament’s majority.
“We are worried that the elected majority of the parliament turns into a new National Democratic Party and lies in wait for the minority MPs, who may be compelled into slips of the tongue and pronounce inappropriate expressions due to their anger and grief over the situation in Egypt under the control and repression of the SCAF” said ANHRI.
“The Parliament has ignored Bakri’s insult within the parliamentary precincts to el-Baradei, one of the Egyptian revolution’s figures, and the SCAF members’ insults to activists, movements, and organizations which played prominent roles in the revolution. Contradictorily, the Parliament burst to punish al-Eleimy who expressed his views in a public speech outside the Parliament” added ANHRI.