COP27 Spotlights Human Rights Violations in Egypt

As the Arab state prepares to invite world leaders to the COP27 summit, Sanaa al-Seif leads a women’s protest to release her sister from an Egyptian prison in a small blue tent outside the British Foreign Ministry are doing Like many Egyptians, she hopes Sunday’s climate conference at the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh will be a rare opportunity to get international attention for the country’s horrific human rights record. Surrounded by a portrait of her imprisoned brother, Alaa Abdel Fattah, Seif said, “The COP is an opportunity to keep an eye on Egypt.” If interest in the human rights situation continues to rise and governments intervene in Egyptian authorities, lives could be saved. ” Abdel Fatah is one of the most famous political prisoners of the thousands detained by the Abdel Fatah al-Sisi regime since the former Army Chief of Staff came to power in a coup in 2013. And his case ahead of COP27 brought attention to human rights concerns. It’s a testament to the fact that she’s casting a shadow over the summit. Sanaa’s protests and Abdel Fattah’s imprisonment have already attracted the attention of climate activists. Visitors to her have attempted to sit down as a sign of solidarity. At a rare press conference in Cairo on Sunday, he called for the immediate release of Abdel Fatah, who has been on a partial hunger strike for more than 200 days, Amnesty Secretary-General Agnes Callamard said: If you don’t want the death that could have happened, you have to take action now.” “24 hours, 48 ​​hours, up to 72 hours – that’s all they need to save lives. [hang over] COP27. It will be included in all discussions.” Callamard added that Cairo has arrested 1,500 more since April, despite the release of some 776 political prisoners this year. “We will not be fooled,” she said. “The government cannot get out of the situation. You have to take concrete, visible and genuine action.” British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak told Sana Safe on Saturday that the British government is “fully committed” to solving the Abdel Fattah case and that he “retains a priority”. The 40-year-old, the icon of the 2011 revolution that ousted veteran President Hosni Mubarak, obtained British citizenship last year. Dozens of British MPs have also raised their claims in recent weeks, and 15 Nobel Prize winners for Literature have lobbied for leaders to use the summit to address Egypt’s political prisoner problem. Hossam Bahgat, head of the Egyptian Human Rights Movement, a Cairo-based independence advocacy group, said the government has released some 800 political prisoners this year and has promised political dialogue with civil society and opposition parties. These moves represent an attempt to change a government widely regarded as the most authoritarian government in decades. Climate activists Greta Thunberg and Andreas Magnusson, along with Sanaa al-Seif (left) and Mona Seif, sister of imprisoned blogger Abd El-Fattah © Hollie Adams/Getty ImagesBahgat, said the number of people released from prison was higher than usual. She added, however, that she was “still small compared to the total number of political prisoners.” “More worrisome is that the arrests of new political prisoners have not stopped at the same rate, but are still a positive sign,” she added. he said The problem, he adds, is that positive movements are just “initial steps that don’t constitute tangible or lasting change.” Abdel Fattah’s family had promised not to drink water, so they feared that the time was running out. Sunday. “I don’t know if his body can stand it any longer because the last time I saw him in August he already looked very fragile,” Sana said. Her brother has spent eight of the last ten years in prison. The activist is serving a five-year sentence after being convicted in December of “spreading false news that harms national security” on social media posts. Sanaa, who is scheduled to attend COP27, was released only in December after serving 18 months on charges of spreading false news, inciting a terrorist crime and abusing social media. She was worried that Sisi would use her COP27 to show her domestic audience that she was strong and supported by Western powers. She urged the government to take a stronger stand against abuse of rights. . . This is how it is served to the Egyptians and how it is used,” she said. “If Sisi thinks her own PR is a bit messed up, he’ll reveal more.” Despite his government’s human rights record, Sisi enjoyed a healthy relationship with the western capital, which has traditionally regarded Egypt as an important Arab partner and vital to regional stability. . Former US President Donald Trump has jokingly described Sisi as his favorite dictator. The Biden administration has been more outspoken about human rights, but it provided $1.1 billion in military aid to Egypt last year and withheld $225 million on human rights issues. “A State Department official said, “Especially politically motivated arrests are a big challenge in Egypt.” Bahgat fears that the regime will return to the way it used to be when COP27 is over, and the small steps taken are “very easily reversible .
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