Markus Löning, the Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Aid at the Federal Foreign Office, is visiting Tunisia and Egypt from 13 to 18 November to find out more about the political and human rights situation there.
In Tunis talks are planned with representatives of the political parties which got the most votes in the elections to the constituent assembly on 23 October as well as with human rights and refugee organizations.
Furthermore, Mr Löning will hold talks with human rights defenders from the region during a regional conference organized by the Federal Foreign Office.
Talks in Cairo will focus on freedom of opinion and the current preparations for the elections to Egypt’s popular assembly to be held on 28 November. High-level political talks and meetings with activists are on the agenda.
Before he set off, the Human Rights Commissioner issued the following statement:
“With the constituent assembly elections of 23 October 2011, Tunisia successfully concluded the first phase of transition from dictatorship to a democratic political order; Egypt, however, still faces this challenge.
During my visit I want to get a first-hand impression of the developments in both countries, while at the same time I also see my visit as a signal of encouragement: countries respecting their own people’s opinions and allowing democracy will receive tangible support from us. Wherever this is not yet the case, we encourage and support human rights defenders.”