The European Parliament in Strasbourg last week criticized Egypt for various endemic human rights abuses. The defensive double-talk in response is almost funny:
The text even prompted Interior Minister Habib al-Adly, long criticised by rights groups for cases of alleged torture in police custody, to hold his first ever chat with prisoners inside a prison, in a highly publicised visit.
"Egypt is committed to the protection of human rights in all security areas, including prisons and police stations," he said...
Former UN secretary general Boutros Boutros Ghali, who now heads the government National Council for Human Rights, said that while a dialogue on human rights was healthy, there can be no universal measure for judging rights records.
"Egypt's human rights record is good," Boutros Ghali told the state-ownedin an interview.
"There is no ideal example of human rights that can be applied to all countries... The circumstances of every country differ," said the former UN chief, himself an Egyptian.
The resolution drew the customary knee-jerk reactions from Egypt's diplomatic circles who slammed it as interference, but in an unusually harsh tone, Foreign Minister Ahmed Abul Gheit rejected it as arrogant and ignorant.
Ahead of the vote, he summoned 27 EU ambassadors in Cairo to protest the text.
"Egypt totally rejects attempts by anyone who takes it upon himself to be an investigator of human rights in Egypt," Abul Gheit said on Friday.
"Egypt does not need lessons from anyone, particularly if this party is arrogant and ignorant."
...Adly Hussein, governor of aand member of the EU-Egyptian Association Council, in comments to the official MENA news agency, said he regretted the fact that the text "brought up issues of the utmost sensitivity" such as the status of religious minorities including Christian Copts and Bahais in Egypt.
"This issue is aimed at inciting sectarianism in Egypt... All Egyptians are united," he said.