A Commentary on the formation of a fact-finding commission for the events of June 30th: The Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights welcomes the formation of the fact-finding commission and offers recommendations in order to avoid shortcomings in its work.

Wednesday 22 January 2014

The Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR) welcomes the presidential decree creating a fact-finding commission for the events of June 30th. In its Commentary, the EIPR mentioned that the formation of this commission is a step that the EIPR, among other human rights organizations, has long called for.

The EIPR pointed out that despite considering the creation of this commission a positive step forward, it is still concerned about the way it was structured. There are many shortcomings in terms of its mandate and powers, and the mechanisms by which it operates.

The EIPR provided, in the Commentary it sent to the commission, six recommendations focusing on ways to improve its work and to ensure its ability to perform its mission in finding the truth behind the events effectively.

The Commentary includes several recommendations, such as the need for the investigation to incorporate thematic cases that fall within the time frame of the commission’s mandate. For instance, the sectarian attacks against Copts, and the unprecedented sexual assaults against women. The Commentary also points at the importance of developing a witness protection program, as well as a protection program for people working at the commission, to ensure they won’t be subjected to any kind of threats or pressure. Additionally, it suggests that the commission should consult relevant civil society organizations, and that the investigations should include crimes resulting from the use of violence by the state’s apparatuses and its security forces, and to investigate the responsibility of their commanding leaders in issuing orders to use violence. Finally, the commission should provide clear recommendations  concerning  legal and institutional reform in order to prevent the reoccurrence of human rights violations. Such reform should include the security sector, and the national legislations governing them.

The President of the Republic had issued a decree on December 21st, 2013 ordering the creation of “a national independent fact-finding commission to gather information and evidence for the events that accompanied the June 30th, 2013 revolution and its repercussions”. Dr. Fouad Abdel Moneim Riyad, professor of Private International Law, was assigned as its president. He also served as an international judge at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY).