UN rights chief urges Morsi to ‘reconsider’ decree
UN human rights chief Navi Pillay has urged Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi to reconsider a decree handing himself sweeping powers, cautioning it clashed with international rights conventions, her office said Friday.
Pillay had sent a letter to Morsi, stressing that a number of measures laid out in his declaration last week “are incompatible with international human rights law,” her spokesman Rupert Colville told reporters in Geneva.
The UN’s High Commissioner for Human Rights was particularly worried by the effect the charter would have on the independence of the judiciary and access to justice.
Pillay did not however comment on the content in a controversial draft constitution that was adopted by Egypt’s Islamist-dominated constituent assembly early Friday.
If it passes a pending referendum, the charter is set to replace the one suspended after president Hosni Mubarak’s overthrow in early 2011.
The opposition, which has mobilised unprecedented rallies since Morsi assumed broad powers last week, meanwhile accuses the president and allies in the constituent assembly of railroading the charter through for a quick referendum.
Pillay also voiced concern over the process.
“Any proper constitution-making process must include adequate representation of the full political spectrum, men and women, minorities and civil society, which was not seen to be the case with the Constituent Assembly,” she said in a statement.
The UN rights commissioner had warned Morsi in her letter “that approving a constitution in these circumstances could be a deeply divisive move,” Colville said.