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AOHR: World must condemn Sisi’s human rights violations

Egyptian riot police arrest a protester in Cairo, Egypt, 5 March 2013 [Tareq al-Gabas/Apaimages]
Egyptian police arrest a child in Cairo, Egypt [Tareq al-Gabas/Apaimages, File photo]

Western governments must stop lending full support to Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi’s military regime and must condemn the widespread human rights violations committed by his government, said a panel of human rights experts and lawyers yesterday.

In an event organised by the Arab Organisation for Human Rights in the UK (AOHR), hosted in the UK’s House of Commons, a group of lawyers and professionals working inhuman rights gathered to discuss the situation in Egypt six years after the military coup in 2013 that toppled the country’s first democratically elected President, Mohamed Morsi.

The experts called on the international community to condemn Al-Sisi’s government for their human rights abuses and to impose diplomatic and economic sanctions on the Egyptian government should the human rights violations continue. They criticised governments for their “deafening silence” in addressing the Sisi regime’s human rights abuses, saying that their inaction “further exacerbates the crisis”.

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The panel also stressed the urgency of the human rights situation in Egypt, highlighting that it has “reached rock bottom over the past six years and is only getting even worse with a total clampdown on all freedoms and all opposition.”

Since the 2013 coup, there have been several credible reports of mass human rights abuses and international crimes committed, such as mass death sentences and executions, torture, extrajudicial killings, arbitrary detentions and restrictions on freedom of the press and to free expression.

This meeting came a few weeks after the death of Morsi, criticised by Human Rights Watch’s Middle East and North Africa Director Sarah Leah Whitson as “sad but entirely predictable” due to his ill treatment by the Egyptian authorities. Human rights advocates had long been concerned about Morsi’s health, as he was suffering from diabetes, liver and kidney disease yet was consistently being denied medical attention, a common punitive measure Egyptian authorities use against political prisoners.

The panel called for an independent and impartial UN investigation into the cause of Morsi’s death, the human rights violations he suffered and how his conditions in prison contributed to his death in custody.

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