STASBOURG, France, February 7, 2014 – MEPs urged all the political actors and security forces in Egypt to show the utmost restraint and avoid provocation and further violence, in a vote on Thursday. The interim authorities and security forces must ensure the security of all citizens and commit to dialogue and non-violence, and to respecting their obligations, they said.
They called for an immediate end to all act of violence, harassment or intimidation against political opponents, journalists, trade unions and civil society representatives. The interim government must guarantee that these actors, both domestic and international, can operate freely in the country, said Parliament.
New constitution: concerns over the role of the army
MEPs took note of the new constitution of Egypt, approved by the 14-15 January referendum, which should be an important step forward in the country’s troubled transition to democracy and called for the full and effective implementation of its provisions on fundamental freedoms, including the freedom of assembly, association and expression, and human rights.
They expressed their concerns at the articles in the new constitution that exempt the armed forces from civilian oversight, allow military judges to try civilians for crimes or attacks against armed forces and installations and state that the appointment of the minister of defence will be subject to the approval of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces.
The referendum on the constitution was an opportunity to build national consensus, reconciliation and stability in the country, MEPs said, expressing strong regrets at the violent clashes before, during and after the referendum. They also called on the EU foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton, to make public the report of the EU expert electoral mission that monitored the referendum in Egypt.