Recommendations to the Independent Fact-Finding Committee Tasked with Investigating the Events that Accompanied 30 June to Ensure its Success and Effectiveness

Press Release

5 Feb 2014

Nazra for Feminist Studies issued a list of succinct recommendations directed at the independent national fact-finding committee (FFC) tasked with gathering information and evidence regarding the incidents that accompanied 30 June 2013. The FFC was established following the issuing of presidential decree no. 698/2013 by the president of the State and it was subsequently restructured by the issuing of presidential decree no. 4/2014. These recommendations aim to put forward suggestions to ensure the success and improvement of the work of the FFC and to ensure it can carry out its dutiful work in learning and shedding light onto the truth:

1. Establish a sub-committee specialized in investigating incidents of sexual violence that accompanied 30 June 2013. The sub-committee must work transparently and present its results to the relevant official judicial bodies. Moreover, women who have been trained on how to deal with survivors of all forms of sexual violence must be appointed within the sub-committee as well as the research team.

2. The FFC must investigate incidents that affected women in specific. These incidents must include: 30 June incidents (during which 174 incidents of sexual violence were documented including cases of rape between 30 June and 7 July), Al-Fath and Al-Tawheed Mosques incidents (August 2013), Cairo and Al-Azhar University events that started in September 2013 and continue to occur during the drafting of this paper, the Shura Council protests (26 November 2013), and events on the third anniversary of the January 25 Revolution on 25 January 2014.

3. Organize trainings for the committee members and workers in all sub-committees within the FFC in order to mainstream a gender perspective into their work. Members and researchers in all the sub-committees must also be trained on how to secure and protect the confidentiality of the testimonies and information they obtain throughout their work.

4. Establish a truth commission (TC) purposed to focus on gender-based sexual violence whose scope must cover all incidents that affected women in the different events that accompanied 30 June. The main goal of establishing a TC is to raise public awareness about past violations to avoid their reoccurrence. These TCs must not only recognize that the “truth” is a missing element that society seeks to uncover, but they must also seek to hear the testimonies of male and female survivors alike, who have been subjected to various forms of violations, in order to acknowledge and assess the trials and tribulations of these survivors.

5. The FFC must invoke the information and data gathered by previous official fact finding committees.

Other matters that must be taken into consideration regarding the presidential decree on the establishment of the FFC concerns some shortcomings and a lack of clarity in several issues, including: the powers and jurisdiction of the committee; whether their recommendations are advisory or binding in nature (in the case of the latter, it must be clarified who is responsible for the implementation of the recommendations); the organization of how information will be shared and disclosed regarding the process of the work of the committee; whether their results and reports will be published; the powers of the committee in the investigation with and the hearing of various parties.