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MRG urges Egypt to give Constitution drafting process more time

30 November 2012

Minority Rights Group International (MRG) expresses serious concern about Thursday's approval of the Draft Constitution by Egypt's Constituent Assembly. Egypt's President Morsi has stated that he will now organise a popular referendum to ratify the draft.

Roughly a third of the Assembly had resigned over the past months, protesting against the dominance of a political voting bloc promoting an Islamic conception of State and Society. The members who resigned were predominantly from Liberal or Socialist parties, or belonging to the Coptic Christian Church, as well as representatives of ethnic minorities. Religious and ethnic minorities of Egypt were either never included in the Assembly, or have now withdrawn.

The current version of the Constitution is utterly inadequate regarding freedom of religion, rights of ethnic minorities, women's rights and other human rights protections. "The drafting of a Constitution should involve a fair and thorough process of consultation with all sectors of society, including women, religious and ethnic minorities," stated Carl Söderbergh, Director of Policy and Communications at MRG.

MRG urges the government of Egypt to extend the Constitution drafting process to enable a generally accepted consensus to emerge. The process should be led by a body representing all groups of society, and should involve wide public consultation.

For further information or to arrange interviews please contact:

Carl Söderbergh

MRG Director of Policy and Communications

T: +44 783 75 33 675, E: [email protected]