We, the undersigned teams, are appalled by proof that the Egyptian authorities and intelligence equipment persist in efforts to silence human rights defenders even past Egypt’s borders. We name on the U.S. authorities to sentence these actions.
Based on Politico, throughout a June go to to Washington, D.C., the top of Egypt’s Common Intelligence Companies, Abbas Kamel, demanded that U.S. officers imprison American human rights defender Mohamed Soltan. Circulating a vaguely worded Egyptian doc with out authorized drive, Kamel claimed that the US had agreed that Soltan would serve the remainder of a life sentence that he had unjustly obtained in Egypt in a U.S. jail. Soltan had been arbitrarily arrested in Egypt in 2013, subjected to torture and different ill-treatment, and convicted in a grossly unfair trial; the Obama administration negotiated his launch and return to the US in 2015.
We urge the Biden administration to clarify publicly that the Egyptian authorities’s request to imprison Soltan is not going to be thought-about.
Since his return to the US, Soltan has been a outstanding goal of systemic defamation campaigns by Egyptian authorities and pro-government media due to his human rights work. The state-led marketing campaign falsely labels Soltan a terrorist, a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, or an agent engaged on behalf of international actors. The defamatory claims often seem in Egyptian authorities statements in addition to on government-sponsored media retailers in Egypt and Saudi Arabia.
Soltan has reported to American authorities that he has been surveilled, harassed, and threatened by Egyptian officers on U.S. soil. A number of members of his prolonged household in Egypt have been repeatedly arrested, harassed, and detained in obvious retaliation for his activism. In June 2020, Egyptian safety officers eliminated Soltan’s father, Salah Soltan, from Wadi al-Natrun jail, the place he had been imprisoned, to an undisclosed location. He stays forcibly disappeared on the time of writing a couple of yr later.
The coordinated harassment and intimidation marketing campaign towards Soltan is a part of the Egyptian authorities’s broader repression of rights and freedoms in Egypt and goals to stigmatize human rights defenders, each nationally and overseas, and undermine the effectiveness of their work. The doc handed over from Egypt’s intelligence chief to U.S. officers gives indeniable proof that these campaigns are orchestrated from the very best reaches of the Egyptian authorities.
Whereas on the marketing campaign path, then-presidential candidate Joe Biden promised “no extra clean checks” for President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and particularly referenced the concentrating on of Soltan; President Biden and the State Division haven’t commented, nevertheless, on particular actions that the administration will take to carry the Egyptian authorities accountable for these violations.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken faces a deadline on the finish of September on whether or not to launch to Egypt $300 million in Fiscal Yr 2020 International Navy Financing (FMF), which is conditioned by Congress on progress towards bettering human rights. Secretary Blinken could waive these, citing U.S. nationwide safety pursuits. We urge the Secretary to think about the persevering with widespread repression of rights and freedoms in Egypt and the brazen efforts of the Egyptian authorities to intimidate and stigmatize human rights defenders and different peaceable authorities critics in Egypt and overseas, together with in the US, and to ship a transparent message on human rights by not utilizing the waiver.
Because the U.S. Congress deliberates on the FY2022 army assist for Egypt, we additionally urge that FMF to Egypt be conditioned on the federal government of President al-Sisi taking tangible measures to finish systematic and widespread human rights violations, stop the misuse of help to commit violations, and maintain safety officers accountable for his or her function in such violations. These concerns shouldn’t be waived beneath any circumstances.
Something wanting these robust messages will enable the Egyptian authorities to proceed performing with impunity in ways in which immediately threaten the lives and wellbeing of tens of millions of Egyptians.
Amnesty Worldwide USA
Cairo Institute for Human Rights Research
Committee for Justice
Democracy for the Arab World Now (DAWN)
Egyptian Entrance for Human Rights (EFHR)
Egyptian Human Rights Discussion board
FIDH, inside the framework of the Observatory for the Safety of Human Rights Defenders
The Freedom Initiative
Human Rights First
Human Rights Watch
Worldwide Service for Human Rights (ISHR)
James W. Foley Legacy Basis
MENA Rights Group
OMCT (World Organisation In opposition to Torture), inside the framework of the Observatory for the Safety of Human Rights Defenders
Open Society Foundations
Mission on Center East Democracy (POMED)
US Committee to Finish Political Repression in Egypt