Over the weekend Amnesty International organised a demonstration in Brussels where Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi recently met with King Philippe of Belgium and the country’s Prime Minister, Alexander De Croo.
Activists from Amnesty International, the Institute for Human Rights Studies, the International Federation for Human Rights, the World Organisation Against Torture, and other organisations, participated in the demonstration, in addition to a number of Egyptian human rights defenders.
Ramy Shaath, a recently released prisoner of conscience, and Suhaila Yildiz, the girlfriend of Ahmed Samir, a master’s student who was arrested by Egyptian police in February 2021 upon his return from Vienna where he was studying, also participated. Activists demanded the immediate release of those unjustly detained in Egyptian prisons.
Amnesty International has called on EU leaders to put pressure on Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi to address the human rights crisis in Egypt and end the ongoing assault on human rights defenders.
“EU leaders meeting with Sisi should seize this opportunity to denounce his government’s suppression of human rights,” said Eve Geddy, director of the European Union office at the organisation. “Despite his camouflaging attempts to embellish his policies, the truth is that grave abuses continue unabated in Egypt. Leaders should not give him an opportunity to polish Egypt’s deeply repressive policies.” “The Egyptian authorities suppress any form of dissent. Those detained for their peaceful exercise of human rights expect EU leaders to advocate for them and to lobby for change. Failure to do so would send a dire message that the union values deepening relations with the authorities at the expense of the human rights of the Egyptian people.”