EU-Egypt: Business as usual no longer an option

Egypt, Press Release, Shrinking Space for Civil Society

Read in:  Arabic 

Open letter to the EU and its member states regarding the human rights situation in Egypt.

Read the letter in French, Spanish and Arabic

 Ahead of the 10th anniversary of Egypt’s 2011 revolution, EuroMed Rights, along with other 11 international human rights organisations, called on the EU to reverse course in its relations with Egypt in light of the sustained and unprecedented crackdown on human rights in the country.

2020 was a year marked by unprecedented challenges to the human rights movement in Egypt.  The Egyptian authorities have used COVID-19 as pretext to grant further abusive powers to President al-Sisi and to deepen restrictions on rights and freedoms. The authorities continued to arrest human rights defenders, peaceful activists, politicians and journalists – including some in reprisal for meeting with Western diplomats.

In a letter published in 2020, international human rights organisations had already urged the EU  to undertake a comprehensive review of its relations with Egypt in response to widespread human rights violations in the country. Yet, not much has changed in EU policy towards Egypt and recommendations from human rights groups and the European Parliament remain largely unheeded. In fact, some EU leaders continue to offer support for Egypt’s deeply-abusive regime by selling weapons, bolstering cooperation, and even conferring prestigious awards on President al-Sisi.

In the letter published today, the organisations urge the EU and its member states to take long overdue steps needed to signal that Egypt’s disregard for human rights will no-longer be tolerated. This should include unequivocal condemnations of the crackdown on peaceful dissent, supporting the establishment of a UN monitoring and reporting mechanism on Egypt, and putting high-ranking Egyptian officials on notice that the EU stands ready to use the tools at its disposal to promote accountability for serious human rights abuses.

Business as usual with Egypt cannot continue as long as the Egyptian authorities maintain their brutal crackdown on human rights.

Read the open letter to the EU and its member states.

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