Egypt defends rights record against critics at United Nations

November 5, 2014 19:51

GENEVA - Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi's government defended its human rights record against Western and regional critics at a United Nations hearing on Wednesday, declaring that personal freedoms were among its prime concerns.

At a review before the UN Human Rights Council that all member states must go through every four years, Turkey and Tunisia said basic rights had been cut back in Egypt since the army's overthrow of elected Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in mid-2013 following mass protests against his rule.

Seven human rights groups based in Egypt said they had decided not to take part in the UN review of their country's performance, saying they feared anyone who spoke against the Cairo authorities would face persecution back home.

Representatives of the former army chief Sisi's government rejected the accusations of widespread repression of dissent.

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