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Rapporteur on Egypt deeply regrets deaths during referendum

José María Beneyto (Spain, EPP/CD), the rapporteur of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) on political transition in Egypt, has expressed his deep regret that the first day of the constitutional referendum in the country was marked by violence which resulted in several deaths.

“This referendum is of historic importance for the Egyptian people and should not be overshadowed by the use of force,” said Mr Beneyto.

He urged the authorities to ensure that the conditions for the freedom of expression of the Egyptian people are fully met, and warned against the disproportionate use of force by law enforcement agents.

The rapporteur reiterated that, despite certain shortcomings, the draft constitution marks a significant first step towards strengthening the rule of law and reinforcing fundamental rights in Egypt, including social rights and gender equality rights, and combating discrimination.