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Protests in Egypt: What the EU can do for the safety of protesters

On Friday protests against the al-Sisi regime are expected again in Egypt. More than 1000 people have been arrested since last week's protests. It was also reported that social media and messaging platforms were blocked. The current wave of arrests in Egypt shows once again how the government under President al-Sisi is proceeding with systematic severity against legitimate protests by the population. The EU should prevent the use of arms from its member states in this process.

"If people's rights are disregarded in Egypt, we cannot remain silent here. Especially not if we maintain close economic and security policy relations. No goods that could be used for repression may be supplied to Egypt from the EU."

Human rights defenders* are regularly subjected to harassment and repression, are banned from leaving the country and threatened. The EU and its member states must therefore also strongly condemn the current repression of the protests in Egypt. Furthermore, words must be followed by deeds, i.e:

  • No goods from the EU that could be used for repression must be delivered to Egypt.
  • EU relations with Egypt should be thoroughly reviewed, including EU aid programmes
  • the EU must take advantage of the forthcoming UN Human Rights Council review of Egypt's human rights record (Universal Periodic Review) to call for significant improvements in the human rights situation.
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