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Egypt FM: No country has 'the right' to criticise our human rights

Egyptian riot police arrest a protester in Cairo, Egypt, 5 March 2013 [Tareq al-Gabas/Apaimages]
Egyptian police arrest a child in Cairo, Egypt, 2 June 2017 [Tareq al-Gabas/Apaimages]

Egypt's foreign minister has said that no country has the right to interfere in the internal affairs of his country besides Egyptians themselves.

"Each society has its own conditions according to the challenges it faces," said Sameh Shoukry at a press conference after hosting a meeting between his counterparts from France, Germany and Jordan.

"Germany, for example, has a present that differs from that of 70 years ago, as does Europe in general."

The comment was made in an attempt to deflect growing international criticism of the human rights situation in Egypt, where there are 60,000 political prisoners who are systematically tortured and denied medical attention.

Under the current regime, the death penalty has soared.

Shoukry went on to deny that Egypt has political prisoners, alleging that no journalist in Egypt, whether Egyptian or foreign, has been charged for expressing their opinion.

Shoukry insists that people imprisoned are those pursuing extremism and violence.

Egypt is one of the top three jailers of journalists, along with Turkey and China, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists.

In January 2019 General turned President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi denied that there were political prisoners in Egypt despite rights groups saying it is more dangerous to criticise the government now than at any other time in the country's recent history.

READ: Egypt FM discusses resuming peace talks with Israel, Palestine counterparts

During yesterday's press conference, Egypt's foreign minister said he hoped US President-elect Joe Biden's administration would evaluate human rights in the country in a fair manner based on documented information.

Analysts have said that the Sisi regime fears the incoming American president will be harsher on its human rights abuses after Biden stated there would be no more "blank cheques" for Egypt.

Donald Trump and Al-Sisi were famously close, with the outgoing American president referring to Al-Sisi as his "favourite dictator".

American lawmakers are pushing for greater controls over American military aid to Egypt so that it is leveraged on Egypt's ability to adhere to human rights.

In 2016 General Al-Sisi said that human rights and freedoms in Egypt should not be viewed from a "Western perspective" and that different domestic and regional conditions make it difficult to apply the same civil liberties.

His comments were criticised by rights groups who interpreted them as an excuse for his overwhelming human rights crackdown.

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