Egyptians go to the polls today to participate in what must be, theoretically, the first pluralist election of their country. However, Hosni Mubarak rejected the international control of the elections. The Electoral Commission rejected the presence of authorized observers by a court decision.
The British presidency of the European Union committed itself to politically support Human Rights in foreign policy, but that was not implemented. It is important to back Human Rights through bilateral agreements as was done with Jordan and Morocco. The European Union should also adopt a firm position with regard to torture. Specific measures should be proposed, especially the confiscation of material. In addition, it is necessary to keep insisting in the independence of justice. Today, Egyptian judges want to exercise their constitutional right to monitor the electoral process. This is very important, for an independent study showed how rigged was the referendum held in May. Despite the Kefaya movement’s militant actions, this report was not taken into account.
The British government should pressure the Egyptian government. However, this pressure will only be effective if it implements antiterrorist measures, which do not contravene rights.

The Guardian (United Kingdom)

Match your words with action”, by Hossam Bahgat, The Guardian, September 7, 2005.