Last Updated: Friday, 15 December 2017, 12:06 GMT

EU: Egypt's dark human rights record must not be swept beneath carpet

Publisher Amnesty International
Publication Date 19 July 2017
Cite as Amnesty International, EU: Egypt's dark human rights record must not be swept beneath carpet, 19 July 2017, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/5970a2434.html [accessed 15 December 2017]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

The EU appears in danger of softening its stance on human rights violations in Egypt by resuming annual high-level meetings with the Egyptian Minister of Foreign Affairs and his delegation in Brussels next week, said Amnesty International.

The upcoming EU-Egypt Association Council meeting is set to take place in Brussels on 25 July. The meetings had been suspended after the 2011 uprising but with concerns over regional security and migration on the rise there are fears that EU member states are more willing to turn a blind eye to grave human rights violations in the country.

"There is a real danger that concerns over Egypt's human rights record could be swept under the carpet as the EU prioritizes security, migration and trade at the expense of human rights. The EU must make absolutely clear at, and after this meeting, that it will not compromise over Egypt's human rights record," said David Nichols, Senior Executive Officer for EU foreign policy at Amnesty International.

"Disturbingly, while civil society has been further restricted, security forces have been given free rein to commit widespread abuses including arbitrary detention, torture and unlawful killings. The EU must use its leverage over Egypt and be clear that they will not stay silent on Egypt's dark human rights record including while the Egyptian foreign minister is in Brussels next week" said David Nichols.

The meeting takes place almost one and a half years since the horrific killing of Italian PhD student Giulio Regeni, and as an Irish citizen and prisoner of conscience, Ibrahim Halawa, spends his fourth year in prison while facing a grossly unfair mass trial. Neither case is mentioned in the EU Country report. Amnesty International calls on the EU to support a call for an effective, independent and impartial investigation into the disappearance and tragic death of Giulio and the immediate and unconditional release of Ibrahim Halawa.

Amnesty International addressed these concerns in a letter sent to the High Representative of the EU, Federica Mogherini, on 4 July.

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