1 July 2010 : Column 7P

1 July 2010 : Column 7P


Thursday 1 July 2010


Foreign and Commonwealth Office

Mr Mohammed El Sharkawi

The Petition of the people of Croydon,

Declares that Mohammed El Sharkawi has been imprisoned in Eygpt without trial for 15 years despite 16 court orders issued supporting his release, and the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention deeming his incarceration unlawful.

The Petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Government to hold talks with the Egyptian Administration to ensure Mr Mohammed El Sharkawi is at last brought to a fair and just trial.

And the Petitioners remain, etc. -[Presented by Mr Andrew Pelling , Official Report, 7 April 2010; Vol. 508, c. 41P .]


1 July 2010 : Column 8P

Observations from the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs:

The Government's approach to foreign policy is based on a belief in freedom, human rights and democracy for all. We will always speak up for these values.

We are concerned about the circumstances of Mr Mohammed El Sharkawi's detention in Egypt. We believe Mr El Sharkawi is one of many administrative detainees who continue to be held indefinitely and without charge in Egypt under the provisions of the persisting State of Emergency. Regrettably, the State of Emergency was extended for a further two years on 11 May 2010.

We will continue to press the Egyptian Government to address a wide range of human rights issues including arbitrary detention. We will encourage Egypt to accept and fully implement the recommendations of February's United Nations Human Rights Council Universal Periodic Review, including Egypt's commitment to put an end, as soon as possible, to the State of Emergency which has been in place since 1981 and to ensure that the provisions of future anti-terrorism law do not impose restrictions on the enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms that are contrary to international human rights standards.

Our Embassy in Cairo will continue to raise Mr El Sharkawi's case with local civil society and humanitarian organisations.

    Index Home Page