UN Authority Figures

UN General Assembly Sixth Committee,
the Legal Committee, Vice-Chair: Egypt

Honor killings" are common in Egypt, especially in the conservative southern region where women are often killed if caught in extramarital relations for bringing "shame" on their families. (File photo: AFP)
In May 2013, 10 male relatives killed a mother and her two daughters. The official said the men suspected the three women of having affairs, and killed them to protect the family's honor. The three bodies were found in the Nile River. They were wrapped in blankets and weighted with stones. Egypt's penal code allows for leniency in so-called honor killings. (Sources: Al Arabiya and Freedom House Country Report 2013, Egypt)

Mission of the Sixth Committee, the Legal Committee, of the General Assembly: "The Sixth Committee is the primary forum for the consideration of legal questions in the General Assembly." (General Assembly - Legal Committee web-site, "Sixth Committee")

Term of office: 2013-2014

Egypt's Record on legal questions:
"The Justice Ministry controls [members of the judiciary] promotions and compensation, giving it undue influence over the courts...Because military judges are appointed by the executive branch to renewable two-year terms, military tribunals lack independence. Verdicts are based on little more than the testimony of security officers and informers, and are reviewed only by a body of military judges and the president. Charges brought in military courts are often vague and trumped up, according to human rights organizations. They can include property damage, insulting the army, and general vandalism...critics warned that vague wording in the new constitution would allow for military trials of civilians in cases where the government felt that military interests were harmed...Some aspects of the law and many traditional practices discriminate against women...Spousal rape is not illegal, and the penal code allows for leniency in so-called honor killings. Female genital mutilation is widely practiced. The new constitution limits women's rights to those compatible with Islamic law." (Freedom House Country Report 2013, Egypt)