Seven human rights organisations are holding Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi responsible for the spread of the coronavirus in Egypt, which they assert has resulted in a serious health catastrophe.
The organisations also called on the international community to rationalise its support for Al-Sisi and demanded the release of political prisoners.
The organisations issued a joint statement on Monday, of which Arabi21 received a copy, stating that: “Al-Sisi has handled with very little or no transparency an international catastrophe that not only affected his people, but humanity as well,” noting that “the coronavirus is still spreading throughout Egypt in an uncontrollable way.”
The statement added: “In many cases, foreigners have actually caught the infection when they travelled to Egypt. This has been proven and confirms that the situation in Egypt is extremely serious.”
The statement continued: “The assessments of international scientists, journalists looking for facts and eyewitnesses indicate that the real number of cases is likely to be much higher than the official figures announced by the Egyptian government, and with the deteriorating health system in Egypt this situation will get worse, exposing 100 million people to increasing danger.”
In the statement, it was stressed that: “Al-Sisi should be held responsible before the international community for the consequences of this serious epidemic, and we are sending a serious warning to the Egyptian regime that concealing facts about the propagation of the coronavirus in Egypt will ultimately lead to a greater catastrophe.”
The statement pointed out that: “Egypt simply does not have the necessary resources to contain the spread of the virus, which is very contagious and can affect the entire population,” noting that “the Egyptian authorities have so far refused to release the political prisoners, who live in very poor conditions that violate human rights standards, in order to curb the spread of the virus.”
The human rights groups further added that: “The Egyptian regime continues to show unwarranted recklessness in dealing with this epidemic, which is proven by the fact that Egypt is the only country that opened its borders to Chinese and Italian visitors when the majority of other countries did the opposite.”