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Saturday November 21, 2020

Cairo accuses the media of passing on ‘false information’ about the arrest of human rights activists

The World – Egypt

In a statement, the Foreign Ministry added: “False reactions and conclusions are being circulated on the media and social media platforms regarding the arrest of a number of EIPR employees, in anticipation of the results of the investigations conducted by the Egyptian judicial authorities in this regard.

The ministry rejected “any attempt to influence the investigations that the Public Prosecution conducts with Egyptian citizens who have been charged.”

The ministry noted that “the Egyptian state respects the principles of the rule of law and equality before it, and that freedom of civil work is guaranteed in Egypt according to the Egyptian constitution and laws, and that work in any of the fields must be as regulated by the relevant applicable laws and accountability for those who violate them.”

The Ministry indicated that no category of persons enjoys immunity for their work in a specific field.

These statements came at a time when countries and organizations around the world condemned, in separate statements, the Egyptian government’s arrest of human rights workers working for the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights, following their meeting with diplomats.

The US State Department urged the Egyptian government to release these detainees and respect basic freedoms of expression.

In recent years, US President Donald Trump stood firmly behind Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, describing him as “my favorite dictator,” but President-elect Joe Biden indicated that he would take a stricter stance on human rights, according to the American Al-Hurra website.

Likewise, the German Foreign Ministry issued a statement “clearly condemning the escalation against Egyptian civil society” and calling for the “immediate release of these human rights defenders.”

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And the Canadian Ministry of Foreign Affairs called, in a statement published on Twitter, to “allow human rights defenders to work without fear, arrest or retaliation.”

In the same context, a spokesman for the British Foreign Office said, “London is very concerned about these arrests.”

Yesterday, Friday, “Amnesty International” called on the Egyptian authorities to end what it called its “fierce retaliatory campaign” against the “Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights”, and to immediately release its arrested leaders.

On Thursday, the “Egyptian Initiative” announced the arrest of its executive director, Jasser Abdel Razek, from his home, south of Cairo, and taken to an unknown destination.

In mid-November, Amnesty said, in a statement, that “Bashir was arrested following a security questioning about his meeting with a number of ambassadors accredited in Egypt on November 3 and discussing ways to support human rights conditions,” without details.

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