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Egypt: Human Rights

Volume 702: debated on Thursday 5 June 2008

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Further to the Written Answer by Lord Malloch-Brown on 10 March (WA 199), whether their welcome of the ruling of the Egyptian Supreme Administrative Court on 10 February took account of the referral of Article 47 of the civil and personal status law to the Egyptian High Constitutional Court to determine its compatibility with Article II of the Egyptian constitution. [HL3815]

The Government are aware that the ruling has now been referred to the constitutional court. The Government regularly raise religious freedom issues with the Egyptian Government and will continue to do so. Most recently, our ambassador in Cairo raised human rights concerns with the Egyptian Minister of Interior on 22 April. We acknowledge the steps that the Egyptian Government have taken to engage with us on these issues and welcome their willingness to hold further human rights dialogue.

We recognise the difficulties that some Egyptian citizens have faced in their attempts to have religious conversion recognised under Egyptian law and will continue to urge the Government of Egypt to implement transparent and effective procedures in this respect. We look forward to these issues being discussed at the June EU-Egypt political sub-committee established under the European neighbourhood policy action plan.