News / Middle East

US Senate Resolution Urges Political Change in Egypt

Multimedia

Audio
Cecily Hilleary

The U.S. Senate is considering a new resolution that addresses human rights and civil liberties in Egypt.  Senate Resolution 586 was introduced last week by Democratic Senator Russell Feingold and Republican Senator John McCain.  It calls on the government of Hosni Mubarak to repeal the state of emergency and to take steps to ensure free and fair parliamentary and presidential elections.

It also calls on the White House to stress democratic reform in its dealings with Egypt and to support Egyptian human rights and reform groups.

Dr. Michele Dunne is a senior associate at the Washington-based Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and editor of the online journal, the Arab Reform Bulletin.  She told us the resolution is symbolic and not binding.

Dunne:  "The timing of the resolution is related to the upcoming elections in Egypt.  Egypt is going to have important elections for the lower house of Parliament in November and a Presidential election next year.

I think there is a sense in the Congress that the United States has to pay more attention to this.

The Obama administration wanted to kind of reset the relationship with Egypt and improve relations with the government, which it did—and yet somehow, concerns about human rights and democracy kind of got lost, for awhile, at least.

Now, I think, there are a number of things that have been happening in Egypt.  There are the upcoming elections.   The government recently renewed this state of emergency under which the country has been living for more than thirty years.  And there is also this human rights case recently, where a young man was beaten to death by the police.  There’s a lot going on in Egypt, and I think we see now the Hill—and also the Administration starting to take more of an interest."

Hilleary:  What good can a Senate resolution do?  What kind of a signal does it send and where does it go from here?

Dunne:  "Right.  I mean, this resolution is really just an expression of interest on the part of the Senate in conditions in Egypt.

It shows that members of the Senate are aware of what’s going on in Egypt and consider that human rights and democracy have to be part of the U.S. relationship and dialogue with Egypt.  And it urges the Egyptian government to take certain steps.  And it also urges the administration—the president and the secretary of state—to sort of put these issues a little higher on the U.S. agenda with Egypt.

But there’s nothing binding about it.  There are no punishments or threats or anything like that in the Resolution."

Hilleary:  What has been the reception in Egypt?

Dunne:  "It has appeared in the Egyptian press over the last couple of days.  There have been some articles about it.  So far, it’s pretty much sort of straight-forward reporting of this Senate Resolution, and I think we’ll see the reaction if the Resolution passes."



You May Like

French Refugee Drama Wins Cannes Top Prize

Dheepan is about a group of Sri Lankan refugees who pretend to be a family in order to flee their war-torn country for a housing project in France More

Photogallery Crisis in Macedonia Requires Meaningful and Swift Measures

The international community has called on Macedonian leadership to take concrete measures in support of democracy in order to exit the crisis More

Activists: IS Executes 217 Civilians, Soldiers Near Palmyra

British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights on Sunday said the victims include nurses, women, children and Syrian government fighters More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs