A group of 21 civil society organisations (CSOs) has called on Germany to press President Abdel al-Sisi to reopen civic space in Egypt ahead of the 2022 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP27).

The group, which includes Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies (CIHRS), Egyptian Front for Human Rights (EFHR) and Egyptian Human Rights Forum (EHRF), are seeking the release of all the individuals arbitrarily detained.

EgyptWide for Human Rights, Freedom House, Amnesty International, CIVICUS, Association for the Freedom of Thought and Expression (AFTE), Centre National de Coopération au Développement, and Associazione Ricreativa Culturale Italiana (ARCI) also make up the group.

Others are Civil Rights Defenders, Committee for Justice, Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), Democracy for the Arab World Now (DAWN), EuroMed Rights, Front Line Defenders
Human Rights Watch, HuMENA for Human Rights and Civic Engagement, Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), International Service for Human Rights (ISHR), and Reporters Without Borders (RSF).

They said in a statement that the visibility and positive pressure created by civic mobilisation is needed if COP27 is to be a success.

President Al-Sisi will be co-chairing the Petersberg Climate Dialogue from 18 to 19 July, 2022, before his country welcomes world leaders to Sharm El-Sheikh for the COP27 in November.

‘We stress our alarm at the Egyptian authorities’ unlawful restrictions on the rights to freedom of the press, freedom of expression, association, and peaceful assembly, the severe constraints they have imposed on civil society, as well as their repression of peaceful political opposition and misuse of counterterrorism legislation to silence peaceful critics’, the statement read.

‘Thousands continue to be arbitrarily detained in Egypt for peacefully practicing their rights to freedom of expression, assembly, and association.

‘This includes staff of Egyptian independent civil society organisations, human rights defenders and activists in the field of economic, social, and cultural rights, and minority rights, as well as lawyers, journalists, academics, women social media influencers and artists’.

Egyptian security forces, according to the U.S. State Department Egypt 2020 Human Rights Report, had carried out arbitrary arrests, torture, and enforced disappearances and other gross human rights violation

Freedom House also ranked Egypt as ‘not free’ in its 2022 Freedom in the World report on political rights and civil liberties, with the North African country earning 18 points out of a possible 100.

Photo source: Diariocritico de Venezuela


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