Amnesty: Egypt Has A Human Rights Crisis Ahead of COP27

Amnesty International has said Egypt is in the throes of a human rights crisis, and has raised concerns about the ability of Egyptian civil society to meaningfully participate.

Environmental and human rights groups have raised concerns about limiting protests to “designated areas” at COP27 and the ability of the Egyptian civil society to meaningfully participate without fear of reprisals.

The Egyptian authorities have used a “National Human Rights Strategy” to deflect attention from their real human rights record, by blaming security threats, economic challenges and Egyptian citizens themselves for “failing to understand” and exercise their rights.

The strategy ignores the fact that thousands of people in Egypt are arbitrarily detained or unjustly prosecuted, and lauds Egypt’s constitutional and legal framework, while ignoring a series of repressive laws criminalising or severely restricting the rights to freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly.

Amnesty International has welcomed some of the recommendations of the National Human Rights Strategy. Amnesty International’s report highlights the case of Mohamed Baker, who was sentenced to four years in prison for spreading false news about detention conditions and the death penalty in Egypt.

To advance human rights in Egypt, the authorities must release thousands of people arbitrarily detained for peacefully exercising their human rights, and must initiate criminal investigations into serious human rights violations committed by the security forces.

Amnesty International’s report on human rights violations in Egypt was based on extensive documentation and information gathered from multiple sources, including victims, witnesses, human rights defenders and lawyers.

“No strategy will protect our right to freedom of expression or achieve peaceful coexistence of people unless it frees all the people who are imprisoned because of their opinion, because of ideas they expressed and because they had a different narrative than that imposed by the state.”

– Mona Seif, Egyptian human rights acrivist,whose brother Alaa Abdel-Fattah was sentenced to death

A 2021 Report last year found significant human rights issues included credible reports of: unlawful or arbitrary killings, including extrajudicial killings by the government or its agents, and by terrorist groups; forced disappearance by state security; torture and cases of cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment by the government.