For COP27 to be successful, Egypt must lift restrictions on civic space

Egypt’s abysmal record of cracking down on peaceful dissent and civic space must not be allowed to undermine the success of the UN Climate Change Conference, COP27, scheduled to start in under six months in Egypt, Amnesty International said.

At a key moment for the world to address the climate emergency, the full and vigorous engagement of civil society in COP27 is essential. But decades of the Egyptian government cracking down on independent organizations, there are growing concerns that civil society actors will be unable to engage freely with each other and conference. In addition there are fears the government will use the conference to deflect criticism of its poor human rights record.

Amnesty International calls on Egyptian authorities to ensure the safe, effective and meaningful participation of Egyptian and non-Egyptian civil society actors.

Read the full statement on Amnesty International’s website.


Annual Human Rights report for Egypt, 2021

The rights to freedom of expression and association were severely repressed. Authorities targeted human rights defenders, opposition politicians and other activists through unlawful summons, coercive questioning, extrajudicial probation measures, criminal investigations, unfair prosecutions and inclusion on a “list of terrorists”. Thousands of people, including human rights defenders, journalists, students, opposition politicians, business owners and peaceful protesters, remained arbitrarily detained.

Dozens were convicted after grossly unfair trials or were tried by emergency courts on charges stemming from the peaceful exercise of their human rights. Enforced disappearances and torture continued unabated. Conditions of detention remained cruel and inhuman, and prisoners were denied adequate healthcare, which led or contributed to at least 56 deaths in custody. Death sentences were handed down after grossly unfair trials and executions were carried out, including for drug offenses.

Authorities failed to adequately investigate or punish sexual and gender-based violence, and introduced legislation further undermining women’s rights and autonomy. LGBTI individuals were arrested, prosecuted and sentenced to long prison terms on the basis of their sexual orientation or gender identity. Authorities clamped down on labour strikes, independent unions and workers expressing grievances or criticism. The Covid-19 vaccine roll-out was marred by delays in vaccinating those most at risk, among other things. Residents of informal settlements were forcibly evicted and detained for protesting.

Authorities discriminated against Christians in law and practice, and prosecuted members of religious minorities and those espousing religious opinions not sanctioned by the state. Refugees and migrants were arbitrarily detained indefinitely for crossing borders irregularly, and forcibly expelled without due process or access to asylum procedures.

Read the full report on the Amnesty International website.



take action to Squash the verdicts!

Squash the verdicts1Squash the verdicts2Amnesty International has joined several other rights organizations in a joint campaign to call President Al-Sissi to immediately release: Ahmed Samir Santawy, Alaa Abdel Fattah, Mohamed El- Baqer, Mohamed Ibrahim “Oxygen”, Zyad El-Elaimy, Hossam Moannes and Hisham Fouad. In 2021, Egyptian emergency courts sentenced 7 human rights defenders and activists to 4 or 5 years in prison for exercising their human rights in unfair trials. Verdicts are final and cannot be appealed. Call on @AlsisiOfficial to #quashtheverdicts and release them now!

In recent years, the Egyptian authorities have introduced legislation to undermine the independence of the judiciary and fair trial guarantees, and used overly broad charges to severely suppress the rights to freedom of expression, association and assembly, and to silence independent and dissenting voices in the country. In the months preceding the lifting of the state of emergency in October 2021, the Egyptian authorities referred at least 20 human rights defenders, activists and opposition politicians to trial before emergency courts, some of which are still ongoing.

Read our full statement on the Amnesty International website.


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