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Viewing cable 09CAIRO288, FOR THE FIRST TIME, THE GOE AGREES TO A SPECIAL

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09CAIRO288 2009-02-18 09:09 2011-02-16 21:09 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Cairo
VZCZCXRO5191
RR RUEHROV
DE RUEHEG #0288 0490915
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
R 180915Z FEB 09
FM AMEMBASSY CAIRO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 1659
INFO RUEHXK/ARAB ISRAELI COLLECTIVE
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 0263
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC
RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 0424
C O N F I D E N T I A L CAIRO 000288 
 
SIPDIS 
 
FOR NEA/ELA, DRL/NESCA, S/CT AND IO 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/18/2029 
TAGS: PGOV PHUM KDEM EG
SUBJECT: FOR THE FIRST TIME, THE GOE AGREES TO A SPECIAL 
RAPPORTEUR VISIT 
 
REF: 08 CAIRO 2577 
 
Classified By: ECPO Counselor Catherine Hill-Herndon per 1.4 (b).
1.(C) MFA Deputy Assistant Minister for Human Rights Wael Aboulmagd told us February 15 that the GOE has agreed to permit the visit of a United Nations Special Rapporteur to Egypt. Aboulmagd confirmed that UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism, Martin Scheinin, will visit Egypt in mid-April to meet with various GOE officials and members of parliament. Aboulmagd said specifically that Scheinin would meet with Minister of State for Parliamentary and Judicial Affairs Mufeed Shehab, and officials from the ministries of foreign affairs, interior and justice. Aboulmagd confided that the GOE is planning to accept the visits of at least three other special rapporteurs, and is currently consulting with them to coordinate timing. He was not willing to name these rapporteurs.

2.(C) Responding to our question regarding why the GOE will permit the visit of a UN special rapporteur for the first time, Aboulmagd asserted that the GOE has decided to be more responsive to the UN as part of a broader effort to take steps forward on human rights issues. Aboulmagd said the GOE is holding internal discussions on a confidential list of 15 potential items covering domestic reforms, which includes increased receptivity to UN requests. He noted that three of the other major items on the list are: institution building, improving the culture of human rights, and passing legislation on political life.

3.(C) This follows on what Minister of State for Parliamentary and Judicial Affairs Mufeed Shehab told the Ambassador December 23: that the Political Rights Law will be amended during the current parliamentary session to add 56 new seats (two per province) in the People's Assembly designated specifically for women, resulting in the legislature growing to a total of 510 members. Shehab also anticipated that the Professional Syndicates law will be amended to "ease" the regulations regarding syndicate elections (reftel). SCOBEY