Today, 4 December 2020, is the date fixed by the Italian judiciary to prosecute five members of the security forces of the Egyptian military coup who kidnapped the Italian student Guilio Regeni from one of the Cairo streets on 25 January 2016. They dealt with him in the same manner they deal with Egyptian citizens opposed to the policies of the coup. They tortured him until he was dead and then disposed of his body on the outskirts of Cairo.
This day, 4 December 2020, was closely anticipated by the international media, human rights organisations and legal institutions. It has now been overshadowed by a demand from Senator Ted Cruz, the former presidential candidate, to Congress that it should include the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt on its list of terrorist organisations.
This unexpected surprise has diverted attention from the international trial taking place in Italy.
With utmost regret, the American senator announced that his accusation of the Brotherhood is based on what several of America's allies in the Arab world have claimed for some time.
Senator Cruz must be reminded of the reports by international human rights organisations that all point to the grave violations of the military coup in Egypt and its supporters. They testify to the appalling breaches of human rights and abuse that have in many instances included extrajudicial killing, as exemplified in the case of the Italian student Guilio Regeni.
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Senator Cruz and some of his colleagues who support his demand from the Republican Party must further be reminded that the trust of representing their people requires them to return to the results of the international investigation conducted by the United Kingdom – in which the US participated – concerning the accusations levelled against the Muslim Brotherhood by the military coup in Egypt and its supporters. They confirmed that the Brotherhood does not engage in terrorism and that its principles are, in fact, a barrier against extremism.
It is our right to question the timing of the current demand and what is happening in Rome. Given that Senator Cruz and his colleagues who support him are all Republicans to whom President Donald Trump has not to date acceded to their demand which was to take onboard the policies outline by the State Department and its agencies, as well as the recommendations of Congress.
After several sittings about conditions in Egypt and the conduct of the military coup some senators including John McCain, Lindsey Graham and Marco Rubio and members from the House of Representatives demanded that the Egyptian coup be held to account and that American aid to Egypt be conditioned on its human rights record.
Perhaps the greatest witness of the position of the US Congress (Senate and House of Representatives) toward the conduct of the military coup, which accuses peaceful oppositionists of terrorism, was witnessed in the 24 July 2018 hearing of Congress in the presence of Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, chair of the Subcommittee on the Middle East and Central Asia. She persuasively exposed the human rights abuses of the military coup in Egypt and its conduct of torture and extrajudicial killings.
Senator Cruz, please give justice its due right.
The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.