US Senate condemns arresting women in Egypt over political background

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Democratic senators proposed a resolution, on Tuesday, to condemn four Middle Eastern states, including Egypt, for the detention of women over their political background.

US Senator Bob Menendez, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, headed the resolution along with eight democratic senators, including Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen. 

The resolution included condemnations of Iran, Turkey, Egypt and Saudi Arabia for the alleged political imprisonment of women. A special demand was made for the release of activist Sanaa Seif, who was sentenced in March to one and half years in prison on charges of publishing false news. Seif, who was described by the senators as a political detainee, was arrested after filing a complaint to the attorney general over an assault on Sanaa and her family by Egyptian policemen and women who were hired by the police.

Sanaa said that while she, along with her mother Laila Soueif and her sister Mona, was in front of Tora Prison, where her brother the prominent blogger Alaa Abdel Fattah is detained, waiting to visit their brother, the policemen assaulted the family. The court refused Sanaa’s testimony and sentenced her without clear evidence.

The resolution came in line with recent US official and congressional criticism of the blunt human rights violations committed by the Egyptian authorities against their opponents. Congressmen Tom Malinowski and Adam Schiff called upon US President Joe Biden to withhold US military aid to Egypt over human rights abuses.