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HRW slams choice of Egypt as host of COP27

November 16, 2021 at 9:19 am

Members of the Egypt delegation accept the next COP (Conference of the Parties) for COP27 which will be held next year at Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, during the COP26 Closing Plenary Part 1 on 11 November 2021 in Glasgow, Scotland. [Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images]

Human Rights Watch (HRW) yesterday criticised the choice of Egypt as host of the next global climate summit in November 2022, warning that the Egyptian government would use the event to “whitewash its appalling record of human rights abuses”.

“Egypt is a glaringly poor choice to host COP27 and rewards the repressive rule of President [Abdel Fattah] el-Sisi despite his government’s appalling abuses,” said Joe Stork, HRW’s Middle East director.

“Countries participating in the COP27 should press Egypt to release the thousands of people jailed solely for exercising their right to free speech and peaceful assembly,” Stork added.

He also urged delegates planning to participate in the summit to call on Cairo to halt criminal proceedings against activists before indicating a commitment to next year’s summit.

The rights watchdog highlighted the case of Egyptian environmental activist, Ahmed Amasha, who has been detained since July 2020, as an example of Al-Sisi’s continued targeting of civilian activists.

It noted that Egypt’s choice of the remote coastal town of Sharm El-Sheikh to host the summit precludes the possibility of grassroots street demonstrations like those seen in Glasgow.

HRW added that the government tightly controls protests, using the 2013 anti-protest law, which bans any public assembly without Interior Ministry approval.

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