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Biden suspends Trump’s immunity for ex-Egypt PM

January 25, 2021 at 9:57 am

Egypt’s former prime minister Hazem El-Beblawi in Cairo on 24 February 2014 [AFP/Getty Images]

The new US administration of Joe Biden has suspended the request of immunity for former Egyptian Prime Minister Hazem El Beblawi in a torture case brought to courts by US citizen Mohamed Soltan, the legal reporter for the Washington Post Spencer Hsu tweeted on Saturday.

In July, the US State Department declared that El Beblawi, who is serving on the executive board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), should be immune from a federal lawsuit brought by a US citizen seeking to hold him liable for torture, the Washington Post reported.

The Post said this came after diplomatic pressure from the Egyptian government aimed at blocking the lawsuit.

Following that decision, several US lawmakers and human rights groups accused Egypt of blackmailing the Trump administration by threatening to weaken their strategic partnership in the Middle East.

Soltan, an Egyptian-American citizen, was imprisoned in Egypt following the violent crackdown on the peaceful anti-military coup protests that took place in Egypt in 2013. Under much pressure from the US, he was released on condition of giving up his Egyptian citizenship.

Since then, Soltan, who launched a hunger strike in protest of his detention and torture, has been vocal about the Egyptian authorities’ abuses against other detainees, including his father and other family members.

Sultan filed a lawsuit against El Beblawi in June 2020, accusing him along with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi, his former office manager Abbas Kamel, head of the General Intelligence Service and three former leaders of the Ministry of Interior, of “torturing him in Tora Prison”.

Take a look at our special page on the Egyptian Arab Spring