Egypt: Al-Sisi should end rights abuses


Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi should prioritize reforms to end serious human rights violations during his second term, Human Rights Watch said today:

Al-Sisi won the April 2, 2018 election with 97 percent of the votes cast following months of intimidation and arrests of other potential candidates. His only challenger, Mousa Mostafa Mousa, had supported al-Sisi’s campaign until the day before registering as a candidate. Human Rights Watch and 13 other rights organizations concluded before the election that it lacked the minimum requirements for free and fair elections….

Rights organizations, including Human Rights Watch, have documented a host of serious abuses by the police and National Security Agency (NSA), the leading internal security force under the Interior Ministry, including routine and widespread torture of detainees.

Egypt’s allies such as the United States, United Kingdom, France, and the European Union, should urge al-Sisi to carry out the following reforms, the group argues, including repeal of a May 2017 NGO law which will effectively eradicate independent groups.

Michele Dunne (right), director of Carnegie’s Middle East program and an Egypt expert, was not convinced by el-Sissi’s [post-election] pledge of inclusion and says the real question is about the future of the opposition, which was riding high after the Arab Spring, VOA adds.

“President [el-]Sissi said in the past that the political freedoms that are spelled [out] in the Egyptian Constitution would be observed, but we have seen that that is not what happened,” said Dunne [a board member of the National Endowment for Democracy, the Washington-based democracy assistance group]. “The opposition that was there before 2011 until 2013 has been imprisoned, exiled, completely crushed.”

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