Edited by: Committee for Justice
Geneva: March 25, 2021
CFJ spokeswoman Yasmine Hajar explains in an interview on Al-Araby TV that the statement of 31 countries before the Human Rights Council regarding the human rights situation in Egypt is evidence of the international community’s awareness of what is happening in Egypt in terms of violations and that silence will lead to more repression.
The emergence of signs of a political will to confront the violations in Egypt:
In the interview, Hajar said: “Since the members of the Egyptian Initiative were arrested after a meeting with foreign and European ambassadors to discuss the human rights situation in Egypt last November, signs of a political will to confront the Egyptian regime began to emerge with regards to the systematic repressive trend against human rights defenders and peaceful dissidents in general.”
“Now, for the first time after 2014, the Human Rights Council is directly confronting the Egyptian regime with specific patterns of human rights violation, such as the pattern of “recycled” detention, and this confirms that the international community has become aware in a large and objective way of what is happening in Egypt,” she added, explaining that the discussion was also under the 4th Item, which includes discussion of grave violations of human rights, indicating the large scale of violations in Egypt.
Hajar pointed out that this statement is an essential step that will be built upon in the near future, as it is like a snowball that is getting bigger.
She added: “After the 2014 statement, there was a kind of international silence, and today the international community has realised that this silence has led to more repression. Therefore, as a civil society, we believe that this statement will result in positive steps to stop the systematic repression practised by the Egyptian authorities.”
Regarding the United States’ signature of the statement, and whether this is a message for the Egyptian regime, and the pressure that the Egyptian regime responds to, Hajar said, “The statement mentioned the use of terrorism laws to wage war on human rights and human rights activists in Egypt. Terrorism is international, and today when those countries say that Egypt is exploiting the fight against terrorism in repression, the Egyptian regime will lose this importance.”
“France, after the arrest of the EIPR members, received Sisi and praised the fight against terrorism in Egypt. Today it is one of the signatories of this statement, and this indicates the awareness of the international community that an end must be put to the repression practised by the Egyptian authorities because silence will bring more of it.”