Proposed Egyptian Constitution may pose threat to basic human rights: Watchdog

     A draft Egyptian constitution, which is heavily influenced by Islamist conservatives in the country, contains articles that could pose a serious threat to basic human rights, a watchdog has claimed. A 100-strong panel picked in June and headed by senior judge Hossam al-Ghariani was tasked with drafting the new constitution, after the old charter was suspended following the 2011 uprising that toppled Hosni Mubarak.

According to the Human Rights Watch, the current draft fails to meet the required standard because of 'vague language or limitations that destroy the essence of many rights,' News24 reports. The New York-based rights group said that while the draft upholds some civil, political, social and economic rights, 'other key provisions are inconsistent with international human rights standards'. It said Article 5 of the draft failed to ban torture, Article 36 threatened equality between men and women, also Article 9, which his still under negotiation, 'would amount to a serious threat to freedom of speech and religion.'

According to the watchdog, the article 36 says the state shall ensure equality between men and women as long is it does not contradict "the rulings of Islamic Shari'ah." It also says that a woman will "reconcile between her duties toward the family and her work in society," HRW said "This provision is inconsistent with the provision in the same chapter that prohibits discrimination on the grounds of sex," the group added.

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