What is human is right for U.S.-Egyptian relations



Are Egypt and Russia entering an authoritarian pact?

Relations between Russia and Egypt have rapidly grown over the past three years, with Presidents Vladimir Putin and Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi forging a multi-faceted relationship that features economic, military and political cooperation, AP reports.

In Egypt, the United States can make a difference when it comes to protecting principles, argues Carnegie analyst Michelle Dunne. Egypt’s extreme human rights abuses are driving youth toward violence and alienating sectors of the population needed to fight terrorism, leading to increased threats to U.S. allies and interests, she argued in testimony before the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission.

Women’s rights lawyer and founder of the Center for Egyptian Women’s Legal Assistance, Azza Soliman (right), is facing some of the most severe restrictions one can face as a women human rights defender, Open Democracy adds:

After twenty years of supporting survivors of domestic violence in Egypt with legal assistance, she is accused of receiving foreign funding for activities against national interest. If convicted she could face life in jail. Azza’s bank account has been frozen and she is banned from leaving Egypt while waiting for the verdict from the court.

It is by no means simple or straightforward to figure out what the United States can do regarding the behavior of another government, but as Americans we must look ourselves in the mirror and ask whether we are truly playing the most constructive role possible when it comes to our interests and those of Egypt, writes Dunne, a board member of the National Endowment for Democracy. She made the following specific recommendations:

  • Ensure that U.S. security assistance to Egypt is not used to carry out human rights abuses…
  • Act more assertively on behalf of American citizens and organizations that have been targeted in Egypt. …
  • Conduct the bilateral security assistance relationship with Egypt so as to signal that security and human rights are not separate realms, but rather deeply connected…
  • Build an enduring relationship with the citizens of Egypt by showing that the United States is aware of their concerns and is using all venues to advocate respect for their rights…



Print Friendly, PDF & Email