What's next for Egypt?
After 30 years of grinding poverty and repression, the people of Egypt have taken to the streets to call for change. But now that Mubarak is gone and political transition is underway, what reforms need to happen to satisfy the dreams and demands of the people?
We have been working with our partners in Egypt to detail what the Egyptian authorities need to do now. Download our Agenda for Change in full (8 pages, pdf) – or read our potted guide below:
Firstly, the authorities need to end the state of emergency. Since 1981, this has been enforced continuously to suppress calls for reform. Demonstrations are banned, the security forces have sweeping to arrest and detain people, and the President can bypass ordinary courts and refer civilians to military or special courts.
In recent weeks, security forces have also used excessive force against demonstrators – this must stop as the authorities should ensure freedom of expression, assembly and association. This also applies to restrictions on access to internet and mobile services.
The authorities must end torture by publicly condemning it, changing the law and making sure the security services know that it isn’t tolerated under any circumstances.
They must uphold all economic, social and cultural rights – including to things like food, health care and housing – and ensure everyone has equal access to public services.
They should end forced evictions and develop a plan to address housing conditions in slums to ensure people have an adequate standard of living. For the same reason, they should ensure a fair minimum wage. Workers should also be able form independent trade unions, and peaceful exercise of the right to strike must be decriminalised.
To protect women’s rights, they should introduce laws against domestic violence; ensure women have equal rights to marriage, divorce, inheritance and custody of children; allow for abortion in certain circumstances; and prohibit female genital mutilation in all cases.
They should also review, amend or abolish all any other discriminatory laws, decriminalise consensual sexual relations, and take action to prevent sectarian attacks.
In addition, we want Egypt to abolish the death penalty, end violations against migrants, refugees and asylum seekers, and cooperate with the UN – including issuing a standing invitation to UN human rights experts.
So as you can see, what we really want in Egypt now is a real human rights revolution.
Please note, the above is an abridged version so for the full details of all our recommendations and the official wording, download our 8-page Agenda for Change (pdf)
Our blogs are written by Amnesty International staff, volunteers and other interested individuals, to encourage debate around human rights issues. They do not necessarily represent the views of Amnesty International.