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Human Rights Watch calls for ending Germany-Egypt security agreement

April 25, 2017 at 2:52 am

Human Rights Watch (HRW) called on the German parliament today to reject the proposed security agreement with the Egyptian Interior Ministry.

The agreement, which is scheduled for a vote on 28 April, lacks human rights protections and would be with a security agency whose officers have committed torture, enforced disappearances, and most likely extrajudicial killings, HRW explained in an official statement, warning that “as a result, it could make German officials complicit in serious human rights violations.”

The statement noted that the agreement would establish cooperation in several areas, most importantly in the fight against terrorism. It obliges the authorities of both countries to cooperate in investigations, share information about suspects, and carry out joint operations.

Read: Egypt blasts European ‘interference’ over concerns about civil society crackdown

The rights organisation added that the agreement includes only the vaguest reference to “upholding human rights,” adding that it lacks any effective guarantee that the major human rights abuses by Egyptian security agencies will end.

“If the German government wants to help protect German and Egyptian citizens from terrorism while respecting human rights, this is a terrible way of going about it,” HRW Director for Germany, Wenzel Michalski, said, adding “the German government should be getting cast-iron guarantees that Egypt is calling a halt to its abuses, not rushing to put its agents next to Egyptian forces on the front line of repression.”

In July 2016, the Egyptian Interior Minister, Magdy Abd Al-Ghaffar, signed an agreement, which was said to have aimed at combating terrorism and organised crime, with his German counterpart, Thomas de Maizière, but it remains subject to approval by the German parliament.

The treaty covers 22 fields in which various German authorities, including the Interior Ministry and federal police, would cooperate with the Egyptian Interior Ministry. The fields also include, preventing and combating corruption, human trafficking, drug and weapons smuggling, and money laundering.