(Excerpt from Daily Press Briefing Transcript – March 7, 2014)
The United States remains concerned about the climate for freedom of expression and freedom of assembly and association in Egypt. To underscore that concern, we cosigned today a cross-regional joint statement on Egypt at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva which was read by the Icelandic delegation. We were pleased to join 27 countries to reiterate our common concern for the universal rights – universal human rights of all Egyptian citizens. In addition, and separately, the international community clearly condemns the reprehensible terrorist attacks that have taken place in Egypt.
The statement also reflects a broad consensus that restrictions to peaceful assembly, association, and expression run counter to Egypt’s pursuit of stability and democracy, and that a free press is an essential pillar of any democratic society. It further expresses our concern about the disproportionate use of lethal force by security forces against demonstrators, noting that even when faced with persistent security challenges, security forces have a duty to respect and observe Egypt’s international human rights obligations and commitments.
- Cross posted from U.S. Mission Geneva