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Nov 20, 2010

Egyptian authorities failing to protect religious minorities

Poll Are religious extremists capable of attacking Egypt's Coptic minority?

20 Nov 2010 23:00

Egyptian authorities failing to protect religious minorities

Egypt is obliged under international human rights law to ensure the protection of racial or religious groups or individuals belonging to them, for the purpose of guaranteeing them the full and equal enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms. Article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), to which Egypt is a party, guarantees the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion. This right shall include freedom to have or to adopt a religion or belief of one?s choice, and freedom, either individually or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest one?s religion or belief in worship, observance, practice and teaching. In addition, the UN Human Rights Committee which oversee the implementation of the ICCPR specified in its General Comment on Article 2 that ?the positive obligations on States Parties to ensure Covenant rights will only be fully discharged if individuals are protected by the State, not just against violations of Covenant rights by its agents, but also against acts committed by private persons or entities that would impair the enjoyment of Covenant rights in so far as they are amenable to application between private persons or entities?.

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