Protect civil society to promote stability in Egypt



As long as Egypt’s government continues to suppress peaceful dissent and stifle pluralism, it is part of the problem of growing instability, not part of the solution, says a new report from Human Rights First:

Repression by the government not only violates the human rights of Egyptians and causes pervasive suffering, it threatens core interests of the United States, including its battle against terrorism. For years, U.S. presidential administrations have delivered military aid to the Egyptian government regardless of its actions. It’s long past time for a new approach, one that uses U.S. leverage to compel its ally to back away from repression and advance toward a more stable and sustainable politics. As part of broad effort to press for reform, the Trump Administration should withhold on human rights grounds the 15 percent of FMF authorized by Congress.

“As long as Egyptian authorities suppress peaceful dissent, they are part of the problem of growing instability, not part of the solution” He added that “Enforced disappearances, torture and mass jailing fuel extremism. The U.S. government needs to persuade its allies in Cairo to get off this dangerous path fast. Friends don’t let friends foster terrorism,” said Brian Dooley, the report’s author. RTWT

Meanwhile, some observers are asking why leading New York-based PR firm Weber Shandwick is working directly for one of Egypt’s top spy services, Avi Asher-Schapiro writes for The Atlantic:

There are also moral concerns surrounding U.S. aid to Egypt, as Michele Dunne (right), former Middle East specialist at the State Department and a senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, outlined in testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations committee in April​. “The state of human rights in Egypt is so egregious that it becomes very difficult to work with the government without in some way being complicit,” said Dunne [a board member of the National Endowment for Democracy, the Washington-based democracy assistance group].

The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) has condemned Egypt’s arrests and deportations of Uighur Muslims to China as “irresponsible and hostile.”

“The government of Egypt continues a campaign of rounding up and deporting these individuals back to China, a country with a record of harsh repression of the Uighur community,” it said.

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