International and Egyptian human rights organisations called on a high European official to shed light on the deteriorating situation of human rights, the rule of law, and democracy in Egypt, during her upcoming visit to Cairo.
This came in an open letter sent by 26 human rights organisations to the President of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), Odile Renaud-Basso.
The organisations pointed out that Egypt deviated from the policies and values of the bank. The severe and continuous deterioration of the human rights and democracy situation led to four urgent decisions being made by the European Parliament within three years. The message explained that Egypt had witnessed a sharp increase in human rights violations, including death sentences and their implementation, as Egypt ranks fifth in the world in terms of the number of death sentences.
The organisations condemned the closure of civil space, the public sphere, the restriction on freedom of expression, and the press. The message addressed Renaud-Basso by saying that her visit coincides with the bank’s preparation for its next country strategy for Egypt. The message assured Benaud-Basso that the visit necessitates placing the deterioration of the human rights situation in Egypt on her agenda and the agenda of the bank’s management.
Last month, 31 Western countries signed a statement to the United Nations Human Rights Council condemning the Egyptian government’s policies on human rights and its targeting of political opponents. Since 2016, Egypt has been ranked annually among the top three countries globally in terms of the number of detained journalists, and hundreds of news and human rights websites have been blocked since 2017. Last February, more than 100 human rights organisations worldwide called on the international community to pressure Egypt to improve human rights.