The Advisory Board of Trustees of the Association for Freedom of Thought and Expression, after being authorized by the association’s management, announced today the formation of a fact-finding commission on sexual violations and administrative abuses inside the organization. The commission was formed after extensive discussions with a large number of female and male candidates. The board decided for a three-member commission, taking into consideration as criteria for selection issues related to integrity, independence, impartiality, competence, legal experiences, gender issues, and familiarity with the dynamics and context of Egypt’s civil society.
The committee includes Salma Al-Naqash (a feminist researcher), Michael Raouf (a human rights lawyer), and Farida El-Kalagy (a rights consultant).
The board hopes that the commission, due to start work immediately, will complete its mandate within a month. The commission is empowered to redress the violations as much as possible, and to make recommendations regarding the policies, rules and practical measures needed in order to bring about changes that prevent the recurrence of such violations and help create a safer and fair work environment for women, and pave the path of transformative justice and social responsibility. It is also mandated to impose the necessary sanctions on those found responsible.
The board stressed the importance of protecting the privacy of survivors and complainants and maintaining the confidentiality of information related to them. Any reservation by the plaintiffs or defendants on any of the members of the commission be taken seriously and its reasons will be examined by the advisory board. (The commission will soon announce ways for the public and all concerned to communicate with it as it begins its work.)